Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) submitted his resignation yesterday, a day after the Prosecutor General (PG) announced his intention to press charges against the decorated general over the military’s detention of Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
His resignation was followed today by Maldives Ambassador to the EU, Ali Hussain Didi ‘Alidi’.
Hussain is the fourth senior Maldivian diplomat to resign from the coalition government of President Mohamed Waheed, following in the footsteps of Maldives’ Ambassador to the US and United Nations Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, High Commissioner to the UK Dr Farhanaz Faizal, and Deputy High Commissioner to the UK Naushad Waheed Hassan – President Waheed’s brother.
Meanwhile a statement by the MNDF yesterday confirmed that Didi, who was serving as the MNDF southern area commander, requested retirement or honourable discharge from the army.
Didi’s resignation after 32 years of service follows in the wake of the Prosecutor General’s Office filing criminal charges against former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfan for allegedly ordering the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed on January 16.
Nasheed and Tholhath were charged with violating Article 81 of the Penal Code, which states that the detention of a government employee who has not been found guilty of a crime is illegal, an offence that carries either a three-year jail term, banishment or a MVR2,000 fine (US$129.70).”
In a statement on Sunday, PG Ahmed Muizz said he intends to press the same charges against former Chief of Defense Forces Moosa Ali Jaleel, Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi and Colonel Mohamed Ziyad for their role in detaining the judge.
Local media has reported that the charges were filed at the Hulhumale’ magistrate court today.
Didi, 51, was serving as the Male’ area commander at the time of Judge Abdulla’s arrest and was transferred to the southern area command following the controversial transfer of power on February 7.
Judge Abdulla was accused of political bias, obstructing police, stalling cases, links with organised crime and “taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist” to protect key figures of the former dictatorship from facing justice for alleged human rights abuses and “high-profile corruption cases”.
Brigadier General Didi meanwhile told local daily Haveeru yesterday that he decided to resign out of respect for the military uniform as he did not wish to attend court and face charges in MNDF uniform.
“I’ve always respected the military uniform during my entire 32 years of service in the military. It’s my belief that I must be present in court after removing the uniform. I do not wish to face the court while wearing this uniform,” Didi was quoted as saying.
Didi noted that the highlight of his military career was defending the nation during the failed coup attempt on November 3, 1988. He was subsequently awarded a medal for bravery.
Didi declined to comment on the arrest of Judge Abdulla.
Didi becomes the third senior military official to retire from active service after Chief of Defence Forces Moosa Ali Jaleel and Vice Chief of Defence Force Brigadier General Farhath Shaheer in February.