JSC is the right authority to investigate Chief Judge: Vice President

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has requested the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) suspend Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed from the bench while complaints against him remain standing.

“Male’ is in crisis and many are being affected, property is being damaged,” he said during a press conference today at the President’s Office, requesting opposition parties and politicians end their political bickering and “give time” to sort out the judiciary.

Judge Mohamed was arrested on Monday, January 16 by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) following a request by police, and is being held in a military training facility on Girifushi. The Vice President this weekend expressed his discontent with the government’s detention of the judge drawing complaints from public officials.

“[I am] ashamed and totally devastated by the fact that this is happening in a government in which I am the elected the Vice President,” Dr Waheed wrote on his blog.

“Besides all the international legal obligations, the government of the Maldives is bound by the Maldives Constitution 1988 which prohibits arbitrary arrest and forced disappearance. We have just witnessed the first possible violation since the dawn of democracy in our country. I cannot understand why this is not an issue for everyone in this country,” he explained.

The European Union has also chosen to “reiterate their support for the process of democratic transition in the Maldives and note the importance of the principles underlying that transition, including respect for the constitution, due process, independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and freedom of expression are central to this process,” read a statement.

The President’s Office maintains that the arrest was made lawfully, and that constitutional reform is not a major concern. “At the moment the Constitution is not in crisis, the President is fulfilling his role as a guardian to uphold the Constitution,” said Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair.

President Nasheed yesterday urged the JSC to investigate complaints against members of the Judiciary and take due disciplinary actions, including recommendations for dismissal, as obstructions to justice are a threat to national security and public safety.

While Dr Waheed’s position came a surprise to the ruling party, he said he has “had discussions with President [Mohamed] Nasheed and expressed my views. I am very sorry if my comments have disappointed anyone,” he said, but insisted that they were “sincere and impartial”.

Judge Mohamed was last year charged with professional misconduct, and was consequently to be investigated by the JSC. However, the Civil Court ruled against the JSC’s investigation.

Minivan News asked whether this raised concern that the JSC could not be depended on to carry out a fair investigation.

“I believe the JSC is the right authority to investigate this case”, he said, indicating that suspending the judge would prevent a repeat of last year’s events, “because as you can see [keeping him on the bench during questioning] has created more disruption than we all had bargained for.”

Urging cooperative dialogue and noting that “conflict resolution is not a new thing”, Dr Waheed made three recommendations to resolve the current political crisis: release the judge, end the ongoing opposition-led protests in Male’, and require the JSC to fulfill its duties.


12 thoughts on “JSC is the right authority to investigate Chief Judge: Vice President”

  1. How come Dr Waheed did not call for the those who violated the constitution by terrorising the public through arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances, be brought to justice.

  2. Hmm question is would Dr Waheed be calling for the suspension of the Judge from the Bench, had this guy not been arrested in the first place? And how come Dr Waheed didn't call for justice for the people who are deprived of justice when the corrupt Judge let free murderers, thieves and rapists into our society?! This behaviour is of course consistent with his character of filifili Waheed whereby he waits for others to do the work and steps forward as a knight in shining armour appearing to fight for his people.

  3. Dr waheed has been the left out player in the governmet.Every single ruling party memeber abuses him in worlds every single day calling him wat ever they have in their pathetic minds.As an well educated man as he is ,Dr waheed should think about his future....you are the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE MALDIVES not a low life person who ane one can pus aside when they can..STEP UP SIR ...YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU

  4. Dr Waheed has made a timely and skilful intervention in this dramatic episode. Dr Waheed is the fire-extinguisher in Nasheed's team. Nasheed is the fire-bomber.

    Dr Waheed; there are other questions requiring your urgent attention. How about the present-day Maldivian government's, perceived, high-profile flirtation with Christianity and the World Jewry?

    These are things that will continue to haunt the government. Government's detractors are laughing in delight at your government's discomfort on these issues.

  5. Politically speaking, Dr. Waheed or what he says is of little concern to the local public. He has no political base or allies and the MDP top brass have only scorn for him.

    Being the VP, there is a certain amount of respect that goes to the office. So it is refreshing to hear the 'silent man' speak even briefly. At least it helps create headlines in the international media which in turn may hope to temper some of the more wild ideas coming from the MDP camp.

  6. I disagree that Dr. Waheed is of little concern to the local public. He is the Ace of Spades in this government. We may not hear very much from him (just as well), but he chooses his words carefully, and what he says carries weight. Full respect to the man!

    @Michael Fahmy on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 7:25 PM asks:

    "How about the present-day Maldivian government’s, perceived, high-profile flirtation with Christianity and the World Jewry?"

    Good question. We are probably playing catch up, making up for lost time, I'd guess. After all, bigger fish than ours, such as Saudi Arabia and various Gulf States are fully in bed with the most Christian, and most Jewish of them all, the mighty US of A. Our tiny nation's stance is of little significance compared to that.

    However, that never stops certain elements amongst us spinning tales that are so tall that they fill up our oceans!

  7. I strongly disagree with Dr Waheed, with all due respect, he is the Vice-President of the Republic of Maldives and he should not be undermining the government at this crucial time. What ever he had on his mind, I'm sure he could have said it to the President privately, but going on media and publicly criticizing the government (his government) really shows his political immaturity.

    This would be the case in any Executive. Vice-President's do not go on their own, and criticize presidents. Under the Article 112 (a) of the Constitution, the Vice-President is supposed to assist the President in the discharge of his duties - not throw him in the gutter when the going gets tough.

    While I have a great deal of respect for Dr Waheed, as a matter of principles, he should not be doing this. This was a bad judgement call on his part.

  8. Dr. Waheed is by far the most respected person in government. This was great judgement and his intervention comes at the right time................The constitution says that he is supposed to discharge duties of the President as assigned. But even if he was not assigned any "official" duties, he would still have a duty to his people. To speak out for justice. To protect the citizens. To be the leader he is.

    Politically speaking, what he says is of great concern to the public because he is respected - far more so than the post which he holds. Most educated. Most capable. Most states-manlike. Most moderate. If we did not have this VP, imagine where we would be?

  9. VP Dr Waheed is the 'Ace of Spades in this government? ' Kekekeke !

    Poor Waheed has been 'in deep freeze' way before Judge Abdulla! He may not be in Grifushi, but for all practical purposes he has been 'kept aside' by HEP Nasheed right from the very beginning of this Administration.

    Dr. Waheed is considered 'a piece of the furniture' in the President's Office by MDP. So much for the Ace of Spades! Buhahahaa!


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