Dear Madam Ambassador Michele J Sison,
I write to you as a member of the Maldives Judicial Service Commission 2009 to 2011, and as an advocate for rule of law and constitutional democratic government in the Maldives, to express my concern following the recent remarks attributed by the Maldives’ Judicial Service Commission to yourself, Madam Ambassador, in a statement published on the said Commission’s website on May 8, 2013.
The original statement in Dhivehi is to be found on http://jsc.gov.mv/2013/05/1561.
The Dhivehi statement claims that “Ambassador Michele J Sison approves of the functioning of the Maldives’ Judicial Service Commission”, and agrees the actions of the Commission are up to the “best possible standards”.
The statement further suggests that, thus, the Commission is cleared of all the long standing, very serious allegations against it.
The statement appears to be another attempt by the Maldives Judicial Service Commission to cover up its breaches, political activism, abuse of powers, and continued actions against Constitution and State through political activism, misconstruing dialogue, and misleading the public.
Hence, I would like to recall to your kind attention the very serious allegations against the Maldives’ Judicial Service Commission that remain pending without proper Inquiry by the State. These include:
- Breach of trust, refusal to uphold its constitutional duties, and cover up of judicial activism and corruption;
- Unconstitutional nullification of Constitution Article 285, and the deliberate and willful corruption of the Judiciary, the silent coup;
- Corruption of the High Court by cherry picking judges;
- Corruption of the Supreme Court by the Judicial Service Commission failing to follow due process, and fulfill its constitutional duties and responsibilities.
Further, I would also like to bring to your attention the reports of some major independent fact finding missions and international bodies which consistently conclude that the Judicial Service Commission acted outside its mandate, failed to respect Constitution or the democratic principles therein, misconstrued law and legal concepts, is highly politicised and partial, and is not fulfilling its constitutional mandate of building trust in the judiciary by holding judges to account.
- Report of the International Commission of Jurists (February, 2011)
- Dialogue and Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee, Geneva (June, 2012)
- Report of Professor Tom Ginsburg supported and funded by the United States Embassy and UNDP, and prepared for Raajje Foundation (December, 2012)
- Observations by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers at the conclusion of visit to the Maldives (February, 2013)
- Press Release and Report of the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) mission led by Justice Leila Seth (India) to the Maldives in August 2012 (April, 2013)
Having been a part of the Judicial Service Commission, and being very familiar with the modus operandi of the Commission and its current Chair, Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla, it is plausible to me that the statement of the Judicial Service Commission is its own politics and does not necessarily reflect the United States’ endorsement of the Maldives’ Judicial Service Commissions’ constitutional breaches or the sitting bench permitted to continue without check or due process as required by section 285 of the Maldives’ Constitution (2008).
Further, the Judicial Service Commission’s role leading up to the February 7, 2012 transfer of power, and in its close personal engagement with prosecuting President Mohamed Nasheed has only confirmed to the Maldives’ public that the Commission is not deserving of public trust, and that the Judiciary is hijacked as I have consistently maintained.
It is also very telling that I have continued to strongly and continuously criticize the Judicial Service Commission and Courts without any legal action whatsoever against myself for “contempt of court” or “tainting the image of the Courts and judges” in a situation where others have been investigated and prosecuted for the said “crimes” for saying far less than I have and continue to do.
It stands to reason the Maldives cannot consolidate democracy with a flawed judiciary; or the questions that hang upon it, and haunt us in the Maldives today.
Velezinee is a former member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and an outspoken whistleblower on judicial corruption. She was stabbed three times in the street in broad daylight in early 2011.
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