JSC member/presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim accuses UN Special Rapporteur of lying, joking

Leader of the Jumhoree Party (JP) and Parliament’s representative to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), MP Gasim Ibrahim, has accused UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul of lying and joking about the state of the Maldivian judiciary.

During her preliminary observations on the country’s judicial system, Gabriela Knaul expressed concern over the politicisation of JSC – the body constitutionally mandated to oversee the functioning of the judiciary.

Addressing a relatively small party gathering held in its headquarters in Male, Gasim – also the party’s presidential candidate – claimed that JSC had been acting within the boundaries of the law and that the process of the appointment of judges adhered to constitutional stipulations and the law.

“[Gabriela Knaul] claimed that the judges were not appointed transparently, I am sure that is an outright lie. She is lying, she did not even check any document at all nor did she listen to anybody. She is repeating something that was spoon-fed to her by someone else. I am someone who sits in JSC. She claimed there were no regulations or mechanism there. That is a big joke,” Gasim claimed.

“She wouldn’t tell bigger lie”

“We had made all the announcements through the media and we even clearly stated necessary criterion required as well as how the interviews will be carried out. We were acting on what we had announced. She couldn’t tell a bigger lie than that,” Gasim said.

Gasim claimed that the composition of  theJSC was decided after a strong debate between members of the assembly, and contended that “nobody can criticise its decisions, not even under international law”.

“That is why I am telling you all this. We the people should not believe the reports compiled by people who come like this without verifying it. This is an influence that has a different motive,” Gasim accused.

Gasim – who is also the Chairman of the Villa Group of companies that owns several resorts in the country – said that a UN representative had once come to Maldives and claimed it could never build a tourism industry.

“A person came like that in 1972. After much surveying, he claimed that the Maldives cannot host a viable tourism industry. Is that true today? But that is what was in the UN report. That is what is on the report by the World Bank. Does the Maldives not have a tourism industry now? He said we cannot; according to him we did not have electricity, water or a transport system but just a bunch of small islands. What would he know?” Gasim said.

Gasim also referred to the presidential elections.

“Is the US judiciary very good? What happened when [George W] Bush sought re-election? You would all know how that election went. Florida High Court ordered for a recount of the vote. When the issue came, Al Gore began winning and winning. Then the Republican Party, who was very upset with that, filed a case at the Federal High Court. The Federal High Court ordered not to count the votes and that President is Bush. Following that order, Al Gore admitted defeat and congratulated Bush on his re-election. This is something the world witnessed,” he told his supporters.

The incident to which Gasim Ibrahim referred took place in the US Presidential Elections 2000, in which George W Bush was running for office for the first time against then Vice President Al Gore. The election was called a victory for Bush after the US Supreme Court declared the ruling made by Florida Supreme Court requiring a state wide recount of votes was unconstitutional. Bush later ran for re-election against then Senator John Kerry in which he won the race by 286 to 251 electoral votes.


Knaul’s preliminary observations highlighted that the JSC – mandated with the appointment, transfer and removal of judges – was unable to perform its constitutional duty adequately in its current form.

Her comment was among a number of preliminary observations on the Maldives’ judiciary and wider legal ecosystem, following an eight day fact-finding mission.

As well as recommendations to address what she said were minimal levels of public “trust” in the nation’s judicial system, Knaul also addressed matters such as the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed – who is currently facing trial for his detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court last year, charges he claims are politically motivated to prevent him from contesting presidential elections later this year.

She also criticised the appointment of judges presiding over the case against former President Mohamed Nasheed, alleging that the set up was made in an “arbitrary manner”.

“Being totally technical, it seems to me that the set-up, the appointment of judges to the case, has been set up in an arbitrary manner outside the parameters laid out in the laws,” Knaul said.

Her key concerns included the politicisation of the JSC, flaws and inconsistencies over the independence of the judiciary and lack of transparency and accountability.

“I have heard from numerous sources that the current composition of the JSC is inadequate and politicised. Because of this politicisation, the Commission has been subjected to all sorts of external influence and consequently has been unable to function properly,” Knaul stated.

Knaul said she believed it best for such a body to be composed of retired or sitting judges. She added that it may be advisable for some representation of the legal profession or academics to be included.

However, she maintained that no political representation at all should be allowed in a commission such as the JSC.

“I believe that an appointment body acting independently from both the executive and legislative branches of government should be established with the view to countering any politicization in the appointment of judges and their potential improper allegiance to interests other than those of fair and impartial justice,” Knaul added.

Judicial independence

Knaul stated that upon conclusion of her mission meetings, she had found that the concept of independence of the judiciary has been “misconstrued and misinterpreted” by all actors, including the judiciary itself, in the Maldives.

“The requirement of independence and impartiality does not aim at benefiting the judges themselves, but rather the court users, as part of their inalienable right to a fair trial,” Knaul stated, while emphasising the important role of integrity and accountability in judicial independence, and hence its role in the implementation of the rule of law.

Stating that it is vital to establish mechanisms of accountability for judges, prosecutors and court staff, Knaul said: “Such mechanisms must guarantee that the investigation of any actor in the judicial system safeguards the person’s right to a fair hearing. Investigations should be based on objective criteria, the process should respect the basic principles of a fair trial and an independent review of all decisions should be available.”

Transparency and accountability

“When selection criteria [of judges] used by such a body [as the JSC] are objective, clear, based on merit, transparent and well publicised, public understanding of the process and the basis for the appointment of judges increases, and the perception of unfair selection of appointments can be avoided,” Knaul said.

Knaul also spoke of the lack of transparency in the assignment of cases, the constitution of benches in all courts, including the Supreme Court.

“When cases are assigned in a subjective manner, the system becomes much more vulnerable to manipulation, corruption, and external pressure. Information on the assignment of cases should be clearly available to the public in order to counter suspicions of malpractice and corruption,” she observed.

Knaul stated that while transparency is public administration is an obligatory requirement in a democracy, transparency remains a challenge for the Maldivian judiciary.

Furthermore, Knaul highlighted the absence of some fundamental legislation – including the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act – in the Maldives, adding that this posed huge challenges to upholding the rule of law.

Knaul was appointed to deliver recommendations on potential areas of reform to the Maldives’ legal system, at the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in May, 2013.

Velezinee ruined the JSC: Gasim

Gasim meanwhile alleged that the JSC could not function properly due to then President Mohamed Nasheed’s appointee to the commission, Aishath Velezinee.

Velezinee was an outspoken critic and whistleblower on judicial inconsistencies and lapses. She has consistently maintained that the JSC is complicit in protecting judges appointed under the former 30 year autocracy, colluding with parliament to ensure legal impunity for senior supporters of the old regime. In January 2011 she was stabbed twice in the back in broad daylight.

“At first, the JSC were not able to carry out its duties because of a person called Aishath Velezinee who was appointed to the commission by [President] Nasheed of Canaryge’. She destroyed the whole place. The damage she inflicted on the JSC was so severe that we had to do so much work to bring the place back to order,” he claimed.

Gasim said judiciaries in all countries had problems and that this was not a different case in the Maldives. He also contended in all the countries have to be reformed.

“A person called Gabriela came and met us. She told us there are lots of issues that need to be corrected within the judiciary. Judiciaries in all countries should be reformed. Which country has a judiciary that does not need to be reformed?” Gasim asked.


22 thoughts on “JSC member/presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim accuses UN Special Rapporteur of lying, joking”

  1. This was the expected reaction from Gasim. After all, his cosy position of control of the country's judiciary is on the line and he is not going give that up without a fight. All educated and reasoned minds accepted Knaul's comments. The full report is not even out. Gasim better take his heart medication before he reads that!

    Who is the international lawyer here? Gasim or Knaul? I don't know how Gasim conducts his affairs, but I'm certain that a person of such standing as Knaul would not just publish just based on hearsay.

    This is a typical knee jerk reaction from an ignorant: shoot the messenger!

  2. “A person called Gabriela came and met us. She told us there are lots of issues that need to be corrected within the judiciary. Judiciaries in all countries should be reformed. Which country has a judiciary that does not need to be reformed?” Gasim asked.

    But there's a big difference between other countries and the Maldives (not withstanding unique coups etc). Before the UN mission headed by Knaul, the ICJ were here two years ago, and said exactly the same thing. "Lots of issues that need to be corrected".

    None of those issues have been addressed to date! Can Gasim tell us about any issue that has been corrected since the ICJ report? How does he justify his butt on the JSC when he is the leader of a political party and also a Presidential candidate?

    I know his reply to that. He was "selected" by the Majlis and no one can argue with that! Right. Like I said, the Maldives has many unique features and not just pretty beaches.

  3. I thank you for the Laura...make happy my people,
    Ammaa baudu,
    Yes, gabriella lies...she tell lie no transparency...transparency there..make much happy my people.she tell lie much...big lie too, so I must say..too much lie..What UN.!!

    JSC independent too.How not independent? it is independent this independence and much transparent...anouncing all judges and intervieW making for the independable...indepredicament.........indEpendENCe. OFcooaaaz, I only president of jumhooRee party, but make my people happy...but this gabriella big joke liar...how this report but no report read.I think veliziney feed much disinfocromination and joke lies....so this...motive bad people make and discredable....discreticale....dis...discredit the Maldivian judiciary.
    Once again..thanks for the Laura.

  4. Wasn't Velizinee on Gasims pay role during his first presidential bid/campaign? Recycling bin much?

  5. Gasim may be mad about this thinking that he will lose his post in JSC.

    But I do not understand why Fili Nasheed and his supporters have double standards.

    Here comments saying how a person from UN will make a full of rubbish ? Even this article high lighted that too. I have no doubt that this UN representative would have done a thorough case study and she would have spoken with all sides to arrive the decision and I respect her for that.

    But what I can not understand is that Fili Nasheed and his associates can not agree on the report produced by the CoNi where there were two UN representative and 3 independent people and one representative from Nasheed and the out come.

    Basic point here is that Fili Nasheed and his supporters will have no tolerance to digest anything against them and everything should be in favor of them. Sometimes it is like that no other people should live in Maldives except the worshipers of Fili Nasheed.

  6. Typical fish head’s response, every fisherman is expert on everything. Third grade businessmen rose from fish folks, let alone no education but whose brain cannot grasp a simple logic to rationalize what is right and what is wrong. Buruma thinks that knowing how to double a rufiyaa, makes someone a rocket scientist, then not a big deal for road side hawkers to be legal experts on international affairs.

  7. I look forward to Gasim's next trip to Europe when he will find himself called before a court of law for slander and libel.

    Then he will learn what true justice is, everyone equal and answerable to the law regardless of how much money he has.

  8. hey kuribe.

    "But I do not understand why Fili Nasheed and his supporters have double standards.

    Here comments saying how a person from UN will make a full of rubbish ? Even this article high lighted that too. I have no doubt that this UN representative would have done a thorough case study and she would have spoken with all sides to arrive the decision and I respect her for that.

    But what I can not understand is that Fili Nasheed and his associates can not agree on the report produced by the CoNi where there were two UN representative and 3 independent people and one representative from Nasheed and the out come."

    It looks like the one with the double standards is you.

  9. Gasim has his gaffs.

    But in a way Gasim is right. Human rights conventions are mentioned left and right, like the way the Government is talking about environment.

    Human rights conventions are used as political tools by all the sides.

    No body is trying to better the condition of the people in a direct way like Qasim.

  10. The gravity of the accusations that were levelled against the Judge were such, that they could not be ignored. He may have been innocent, but, such accusations can’t come from thin air. I agree that the JUDGE needed to be investigated in some manner, if for no other reason than to be given the chance to defend his reputaion for the sake of his family. Yet, the aggrevating impotence of all attempts to enforce judicial accountability in a relatively civil manner escalated the frustration, and TRAUMA happened.

    The Judges whole family must have been traumatized by the arrival of the forces in the middle of the night. This happened as a desparate bid to make him accountable after ALL else had failed to investigate the guy.

    For the sake of the Judges family, THAT should never have happened, not like THAT in the middle of the night.

    So that it cannot happen again, for the sake of the people, even for the sake of the families of the Judges themselves, PLEASE try and overcome this problem of the absence of judicial accountabilty.

  11. Knaul will file libel to Gasim.don't just open your mouth but be it in legal way always.Gasim PRep. to the JSC but don't act & think like one.tsk tsk tsk.case file is on your way.anyway kuribee is correct why is it that the MDP supporter & Nasheed don't want to accept the CoNI report?tsk tsk tsk again.. everyone wants the international representatives "experts" to investigate on something but when the result is out no one wants to accept it.crazy it is here on world of politics in Maldives...

  12. @kuribee on Wed, 27th Feb 2013 9:43 PM

    If you can think sensibly, and without prejudice, about why the CoNI report was accepted with reservations, I am sure you will know why, however much representatives of UN, Commonwealth, President Nasheed were involved!

    As for Gasim, I do feel sorry for the bloke!

    Just because he is capable of making 200 out of a 10, that does not mean he is capable of criticizing a UN employed Special Rapporteur to report them on the independence of judges and lawyers in the Maldives!

    Being in the parliament, and being in the Judiciary Commission, he is happy; While the brunt of it is absorbed by the people!

  13. G Knaul presented unbiased facts from her research and observation about Maldivian Judicial Services....and by this act , it was a Big slap to Mr. Baboon!

  14. boycott gasim properties in the maldives
    he is a biggest thief in the country and he is legs all around in the Judicial Service Commission

  15. Not surprising Gasim is fuming!

    But the reality is that Gasim is barking at the moon!

    If he were barking at someone from the Maldives, it could have been justifiable!

    But this is his class and unfortunately stands stark naked among dignified people and especially jurors of the world!

    Just because Gasim is able to utter a few lines in English a little better before the very famous lines, "thank you for the Lara", had thought that he was the person for the hour and that he has the wonderful lamp and the world in his hands!

    Gasim should be happy that he is not being taken on by journalists for "this master piece" that he thought was one!


  16. This is imperialism. The report can be considered on its merit. But we can respond to it or anything or anyone else anyway we want.

    We can also call obama a looney if we want. We have a jursidiction, we are sovereign. true we live on the measly loand their WB provides us (out of kindness it must be).

    This is not bondage. They come here to cause irritation, to erode our ways, to suggest, always with unwelcome suggestion, to destroy our foundations... they are irritated that we pray in our mosques also. they feel we should all be more like santa claus (its the more democratic way yu see)

    Her report is fine. yet we will respond in any inflammatory way we deem fit. we r a free people. bwahahaha

    the white-man is not some diety we must revere, respect, worship or heed..... they have to come n meet us on equal footing.

    this ganja crowd holding behind anni-kendi think their small world minivannews comment board is the whole maldives opinion. excuse me some of us r not that intrested in copying the british formula for success at the expense of our values, our dhivehi-vanthakan.

    Gasim is the chief financier behind the coalition keeping ganjaboa at bay. he might become president, by then the little island will become hell on earth for those who fail to comply with the non-western way of going about things ingijje.

    #$%#$% u.

  17. Like him or not Mr. Afrasheem was better fit than Mr. Gasim. Time of Mr. Afrasheem assignations, Mr.Nasheed trail and appointment of judges.. lot of doubts... I know some people will go bananas after reading this comment. But I was raised in way to question everything which i doubt.

    Its sad see presentational candidate acting like Iranian Prez Mahmoud ahmadinejad. Accusing UN representative of been biased.
    In a political arena Mr. Gasim is a immature boy compared to ANNI and Yameen. Gasim will always dace to their beat


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