Judges Didi and Yoosuf refuse to step down from Nasheed’s terrorism trial

A three-judge Criminal Court panel has ruled it has no conflict of interest in overseeing former President Mohamed Nasheed’s terrorism trial, despite two of the three judges having testified as witnesses in the case’s investigation.

Nasheed is accused of ordering the abduction of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012. If convicted under anti-terrorism laws, he faces a jail term between ten and 15 years.

The opposition leader’s lawyers tonight requested Judges Abdulla Didi and Abdul Bari Yoosuf step down from the bench.

Citing statements provided during a police and Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) investigation, lawyers said Judge Abdulla had first called Judge Yoosuf on receiving news of his impending arrest, while Didi had been present at the scene of the arrest.

But, Judges Didi, Bari and Sujau Usman unanimously ruled there were no legal barriers preventing them from passing judgment, stating legal norms allowed judges to choose between acting as a judge or a witness.

They subsequently prohibited either state prosecutors or Nasheed’s lawyers from naming them as witnesses in the ongoing trial.

The judges also overruled Nasheed’s second procedural issue, in which he contended Prosecutor General (PG) Muhthaz Muhsin’s decision to re-prosecute him—after withdrawing lesser charges of arbitrary detention in early February—was unlawful.

The third hearing in the terrorism trial concluded with state prosecutors and Nasheed naming witnesses and outlining key pieces of evidence.

Nasheed has named Muhsin as a defence witness. State prosecutors today assured the former president that Muhsin would step out from the trial if he is called to the witness stand.

Presiding Judge Didi also warned Nasheed’s lawyers against publicly implying the former president may not receive a free and fair trial, noting such comments amount to contempt of court.

Conflict of interest

Nasheed’s legal team contended judges must be free of bias and be perceived to be without a conflict of interest to ensure the former president a free and fair trial.

Didi and Yoosuf’s involvement in the investigations into Judge Abdulla’s arrest, and their long history of working together indicated a special relationship, lawyers argued.

Lawyers also questioned Muhsin’s motivation in re-prosecuting Nasheed, noting he too had worked with Judge Abdulla for years up until his appointment as Prosecutor General in July 2014. Muhsin had also testified during police and HRCM investigations, they said.

Noting Nasheed’s terrorism charges came after he had effectively been on trial for arbitrarily detaining Judge Abdulla for three years, lawyers said the PG‘s decision to file new and harsher charges on the same facts allows Muhsin to abuse the criminal justice system by depriving the accused of finality.

However, state prosecutors contended the PG’s power to withdraw, review and re-submit charges translated into authority to re-prosecute on new charges.

Muhsin had testified in his personal capacity, not as the Prosecutor General of the Maldives, they said.


After the judges overruled Nasheed’s procedural issues, the state presented a list of witnesses.

They include former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh, police officers Ismail Latheef, Ahmed Shakir, Mohamed Jamsheed and Abdul Mannan Yoosuf, Chief of Defense Forces Ahmed Shiyam, former Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officers Ali Shahid and Aishath Zeena.

State prosecutors also plan to submit a video of Judge Abdulla’s arrest, speeches made by Nasheed at a cabinet meeting, a meeting with the police and in public during January 2012.

But Nasheed’s lawyers said the Criminal Court had failed to provide them with key evidence including the arrest video, and some transcripts of Nasheed’s speeches.

But Judge Didi ordered lawyers to name defense witnesses, assuring them the court would provide the items as soon as possible, and would allow them to name new witnesses to counter the new evidence if the court deems it necessary.

In addition to Muhsin, Nasheed’s witnesses include former head of police’s Drug Enforcement Department Mohamed Jinah, former Home Minister Hassan Afeef, and former Finance Secretary Ahmed Mausoom.

Nasheed’s lawyers requested 30 days to prepare his defence in light of new evidence that had not yet been provided, but judges said they would inform Nasheed of the date for a new hearing on Tuesday (March 3).

Judges also refused to revise an earlier decision to place Nasheed in custody until the trial concluded. The former president had been denied the right to legal counsel at the time.

Nasheed’s administration had justified Judge Abdulla’s military detention claiming he had had allowed “his judicial decisions to be determined by political and personal affiliations,” and repeatedly released then-opposition figures brought before the court on serious crimes.

Related to this story

Nasheed denies ordering Judge Abdulla arrest, granted three days to answer charges

Former President Nasheed arrives in court with arm in makeshift sling

Nasheed denied right to appoint lawyer and appeal “arbitrary” arrest warrant, contend lawyers

Police arrest former President Mohamed Nasheed ahead of terrorism trial


10 thoughts on “Judges Didi and Yoosuf refuse to step down from Nasheed’s terrorism trial”

  1. it baffles me how they fail to see any conflict of interest.

    maybe they think it is something related to bank interest

  2. It's too late now to march in the streets. Where was everyone when the "supreme court" hijacked the 2013 election? Sit back and enjoy another 30 years of Gayoom since nobody could be bothered to fight the rogue judges pissing on the constitution and destroying the legitimate election process. International pressure is a waste since it's impossible to encourage the "upholding of democratic ideals" in a completely crooked system run by Gayoom's band of thieves and gangsters.

  3. Fathimath Ibrahim, wife of Yameen should be chosen to be a judge dealing with Anni's case. Fathimath might not be the best friend of Yameen. But, she would be most appropriate to handle the case.

    Abdullah Qaazee or Judge Abdullah's best friend is dealing Anni's case.

    So, Fathimath Ibrahim also should join voluntarilly and with plaeasure!

  4. And isn't it incredible this entire mess goes back to Yameen illegally selling oil to Burma? Wasn't the report proving his involvement just about to be made public when the 2012 coup took place? (and first thing Waheed did was cancel the investigation)

    And cronyism and corruption in the courts is what Nasheed was also trying to clean up with the detention of judge abdulla? I'm not saying Nasheed is a saint but it all goes back to Gayoom never wanting to let go. It takes some balls for these gangsters to prosecute Nasheed for not following constitutional procedure when they make the rules up as they go.

    The so called "concerned international community" should impose economic sanctions on these Gayoom gangsters if they really want to make a point. But they won't since they all stood by and sanctioned the 2012 coup and the charade of an "election" in 2013.

  5. This farce would put a kangaroo court to shame:

    A Judge as witness.
    The Chief Prosecutor as witness.
    The Defendant not allowed to sit with Lawyer.
    No legal represntation allowed at the commencement trial (Which sets the tone of the rest of the trial).
    The Jugdes, who are called as witnesses for the prosecution, decide that they are competent to judge the trial.
    The Chief Prosecutor offers "to stand aside" while still influencing the trial since all other prosecutors answer to him.

    The list goes on....

    No way can this be called a fair trial.

    Apologies to the kangaroo.

  6. Nasheed should be in jail for forrest of his life for kidnapping abdulla Gazee , former mp current president Yameen . ONly thing so called nasheed knows is to take slippers and run on the road with his so called activisrts . He should be charged for ordering the police on 7 th feb . THE man should be in jail sentenced for rest of nasheed's life

  7. The people who wrote the Commonwealth report or the Coni report should see if things that they mentioned in their report are maintained. Not a single one is being observed.

    The policeman who beat the people according to Coni report, are now given flats in the capital free of charge. And now Anni is tried in the court which the Coni report said should be REFORMED.

    Yhe person heading the Coni report was Ismail Shafeeu, Gayyoom's (Yameen's own brother) Defense Minister.

    What a shame to Commonwealth.

    WHERE would the Maldivian people go for justice heh.

  8. But Judge Abdullah Didi refused to go ahead in Majlis Committe with MP AliWaheed as Judge AbloDidi had a case regarding ALi Waheed...


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