The Civil Court has refused to accept payment of the debt it had ordered paid by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa, after the ruling against him was last week upheld by the Supreme Court.
The case had been filed against him by Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Deptuy Leader Umar Naseer, and the ruling meant that Musthafa was disqualified as an MP for the former ruling party, forcing a by-election in his seat of Thimarafushi.
Musthafa this morning sent a person to pay the debt to the court – a loan of US$31,231.66 (Rf 481,952) borrowed from the now defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
The Civil Court has confirmed that a person had sought to pay the debt on Musthafa’s behalf, after the Supreme Court ruling did not mention that the money was to be paid to the former ‘Madhanee’, or Civil, Court.
Until President Nasheed signed the Judicature Act into law last year, the official name of the Civil Court had been Madhanee Court – ‘madhanee’ being the Arabic word for ‘civil’.
MDP MP Musthafa today told Minivan News that he had been trying to pay the money every day since losing the caase last Friday, but said the court had not accepted it.
‘’Today I thought I would inform that media and send someone to the court to pay the money, and the court did not accept it again,’’ Musthafa said. ‘’I wrote a letter to the court but they did not respond to it.’’
Later today, Musthafa said the Civil Court registrar had called him and met with him, and said the Supreme Court’s ruling did not specify who the recipient of the money was to be, and that the Civil Court did not know what they should do with it, Musthafa said.
‘’The Supreme Court told me to get assistance from the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) and the Attorney General,’’ he said. ‘’So then I sent the money to the MMA, and the MMA has received the money.’’
He also said that tomorrow he will file a case in the Civil Court asking the court to order the MMA to pay him the US$500,000 that the BCCI was obliged to pay Musthafa, in a separate case concerning the supply of meat and other goods.
‘’They have today proved that the MMA are the live parent of BCCI [despite BCCI being defunct],’’ he said. ‘’This is funny to me – because when they have to pay me something owed by BCCI, they deny they are the live parent, but when I have something to pay to BCCI they become the live parent of BCCI.’’
In November last year Musthafa threatened legal action against the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) if it did not pay the US$500,000 that BCCI owed his company Seafood International, alleging that the sum was due to be paid to his company according to a 1991 London court ruling.
Citing MMA as the “live branch of BCCI in the Maldives,” Musthafa previously stated that “the debt of a dead person has to be paid by a living legal parent.”