MP Hamid calls for Majlis intervention to overturn Criminal Court sentence

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Hamid Abdul Gafoor has called on Members of Parliament to intervene in a High Court appeal to overturn a Criminal Court six month jail term issued in absentia.

Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed handed Hamid a six month sentence for disobedience to order after the MP refused to attend a separate trial over refusal to provide urine.

Hamid contends the Criminal Court’ summons were unlawful as hearings for the urine trial were scheduled during Majlis work hours in violation of the Parliamentary Privileges and Powers Act. He then sought refuge inside the Parliament House when the Criminal Court ordered the police to arrest him and present him at court.

“The Criminal Court first issued court summons in contravention to the Parliamentary Privileges Act and then sentenced me in absentia for making use of my parliamentary privileges,” Hamid said.

Hamid filed an appeal at the High Court to overturn the Criminal Court’s sentence but the case was dismissed today when Hamid’s lawyers failed to attend the hearing over an administrative error. Lawyers will resubmit the case tomorrow, he said.

Claiming the Criminal Court sentence endangers all MPs, Hamid said: “I call on all Members of Parliament to intervene in this case. This is not about refusal to provide urine. This sentence has clearly violated parliamentary privileges.”

Today is Hamid’s 28th day inside the Parliament House.

In a letter to the Speaker Abdulla Shahid, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz said Judge Abdulla has acted against the norms in Hamid’s case.

Hence, People’s Majlis Speaker Abdulla Shahid has written to Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz to overturn the sentence contending the ruling violates the privileges afforded to MPs in the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.

MP Riyaz Rasheed raised a point of order during today’s Majlis sitting to debate the state budget over Hamid’s “unlawful” presence in the Majlis.

In response, Shahid said he has asked the Chief Justice to advise him on the issue and stated: “As the Majlis Speaker I must uphold the laws you, honorable MPs, have passed when rulings against an MP is issued in violation of the privileges afforded to an MP in the Parliamentary Privileges Act and when such rulings are being implemented.”

Hamid has said the Criminal Court was on a “personalized hunt” for him and added: “I believe the objective of these show trials with manufactured narratives of drinking is a smear campaign targeted at reducing the number of my party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs.”

The Inter Parliamentary Union has expressed concern over “the frequent intimidation, harassment and attack of MPs as they go about their work.”

A total of eight MDP MPs currently face criminal charges whilst MDP MP Ali Azim and MDP aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Nashiz were disqualified from their seats by the Supreme Court in a controversial ruling over decreed debt in October.


19 thoughts on “MP Hamid calls for Majlis intervention to overturn Criminal Court sentence”

  1. What a bloody joker. Throw this guy in jail and let that be a lesson for all. He probably alone cost MDP the election as well, by doing PPM a favour. Thank you Hamid.

    If he didn't drink and didn't smoke drugs, then why didn't he provide urine samples? What was he doing with cannabis joints thrown all over the beach where he and his mates were found? What was all the alcohol doing on an uninhabited island? To feed the fish?

    If MDP is to show it respects Islam, law and order it should remove this guy from the party. Majlis shouldn't be a refuge for fugitives.

  2. So where is the trial of Sun Travel Shiyam over possession of alcohol? He should be tried alongside Hamid.

  3. Where is this alleged evidence of Hamid drinking alcohol or smoking cannabis?. The fabricated video and police testimony proves nothing.

  4. @Jameel

    Lets get the facts straight.

    1. Hamid was sentenced for 6 months prison for not turning up for a court appearance, NOT for consuming banned substances.

    2. The court orders for Hamids appearance in court appear to mysteriously synchronise with the sittings of the Independent Institutions Committee which Hamid sits in and also his other sessions of the Majlis. And always AFTER these meetings are tabled. Amazing!!

    Perhaps you would be less confused about whats happening in this case if you cared to read the constitution and the law regarding parliament members. If you did you will see that there is something called Parliamentary Priviledges. This was specifically written to protect parliament members from political victimisation. This, my dear Jameel, is what Hamid is standing for: the restoration of his rights as an elected member of parliament.

    I find it interesting to note that you have made no reference to Mr Jabir who I understand leased the island from the government and who at the end of the day is accountable for whatever the Police found on that island found on the island.

    It is also interesting to note that Mr Jabir is expected to continue with his work in Majlis by Ablo Ghazee but Hamid is not.

    It looks as if we are continuing in the grand old tradition of the 30 year old police state we lived in where we are guilty until proven innocent.

    As for your comment about MDP. Ahem. MDP members are a lot more aware than you give them credit. They are awake, and conscious. And they care about their members.They know that this is a witch-hunt to dilute MDP influence in the Majlis. What would you know about the MDP??

    I have had enough of walking on egg shells while people like you eat the flesh of a man who has devoted his whole life to making a difference in this country. Hamid is not perfect, but he does not deserve the vilification that you have posted here. Its ugly and downright spiteful. Please! Save your moralising for the vomit bin.

  5. A little bit of booze... a little bit of cannabis..... in my life... So what....

    welcome to the 21st century.

  6. If there is no evidence, then why is he hiding in the Majlis? Who is he hiding from?

  7. Under Hudud in Islamic Sharia, proof of alcohol consumption (or other drugs) has very specific requirements, i.e. (a) by a confession, which can then be withdrawn at any time without penalty. (b) Witnesses can attest seeing the accused drinking, smelled alcohol on his breath, or observed him soused.

    I don't know why Hamid is hiding, since he has not confessed drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. There are no witnesses who saw him drinking or smoking cannabis. I don't know whether the police smelled alcohol on his breath or observed him soused. In short, it'd be nigh impossible to pin a proof on Hamid. If Hamid was to be proven guilty in any other manner, then there's a certain judge of the supreme court, who can also be proven guilty via much available direct evidence (not necessarily Hudud compliant).

  8. @Donald Duck is right.

    As for the political motivations behind the charges against Hamid, Shafeea is spot on. I think MDP can convince somehow turn this situation around by following its current course - impressing upon Yameen the importance of getting MDP to support the endorsement of Cabinet appointees and the state budget.

    However Shafeea, you must accept that Hamid's entire case IS really playing havoc with MDP's public image. Never mind the real facts which you or I can grasp with ease but think about the average citizen.

    (1) Hamid and his friends were seen surrounded by narcotics and alcohol on a private island - a luxury that many Maldivian youths are denied - their consumption of alochol is in dark alleys and often swiftly punished.

    (2) Hamid has effectively avoided trial, pre-trial detention and serving a sentence - something a common citizen cannot ever do.

    (3) Even the proud parliamentary democracy of UK does not extend its parliamentary privileges to allow refuge for MPs to escape criminal prosecution (PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE IS MEANT TO PROTECT MPs FREE SPEECH DURING DEBATE AND NOT MUCH OF ANYTHING ELSE). An interesting read for those who may be confused

    (4) Think about it Shafeea, regardless of whatever sacrifices Hamid has made for democracy I think the public has very little confidence in or love for Parliament. This is just like PPM defending the judiciary - you're just shooting yourself in the foot. The best way out of this difficult situation is to get a backroom deal to protect Hamid while condemning his actions and not allowing them to continue. There is no way that the public will ever see him as a hero in the current circumstances.

  9. the case against hamid is contempt for the court that's why he is sentenced to prison for 6 months even in absentia. if he just respect & show in the court hearing he would have walking in the streets freely but have to answer the case against him for not providing urine sample during the police arrest him for alleged drinking of alcohol & smoking cannabis. if hamid doesn't show for next court hearing, add another 6 months in prison for total of 1 year in contempt. MP should respect the court justice for good sample to the society.

  10. MP Hamid is a dream come true for PPM. He is simply political Gold.

    I bet PPM will get approval for all cabinet and budget in rerun for Hamids release.

  11. Stupid idiots like Hamidh are the reason MDP lost this election !

    If it weren't for the stupidity of Hamidh in trying to save himself, and the stupid acts of Majilis MDP members who amended majilis laws so as to save their necks, the perception and public image of MDP would not have been defamed and the 6000 votes needed could have been gotten by MDP. The crooked MP's in parliament trying to save their skins by passing laws (Hamid trying to save himself, Member Rasheed (Flag hitting guy) trying to save himself, and the collective efforts of all MDP MP's in trying to convince the Maldivian public that their evil deeds were for the benefit of the whole population. They thought that Maldivians would be stupid and believe their crooked acts.

    If it werent for Hamids and Zaki's alcohol drinking and cannabis smoking incident at Hondaidhoo, and the decision by the leadership of MDP to allow these publicly defamed people to speak in the party's front lines that damaged the credibility of MDP.

    MDP must remove such corrupt people from the frontlines of MDP so as to gain back the trust of the Maldivian people in the upcoming local council and Majilis elections.

  12. And may I add that court summons for Hamid always coincides with the time Majlis go to vote. 1.30 is the set time for Majlis members to vote. Hamids communication to the court for his inability to attend court at that time is on record. Why Ablo Ghazee would not reschedule Hamid's court appearance is truly a mystery.

  13. @tsk tsk

    How ingenious of you to say I am spot on and move on to bring in a whole bunch of assumptions and suppositions that the drama about Hamid is an attempt to avoid trial. Your skills at spin is truly impressive.

    Nowhere in what I have written is a justification or explanation or suggestion of a way out for Hamid to avoid his trial.

    The bottom line, dear tsk tsk is that parliament members should not have to be summoned to court at a time when they are scheduled to vote.I believe that Hamid has not been treated fairly by Ablo Ghazee.

    We have seen Deputy Speaker Nazim summoned several times to court without putting in an appearance. Did we see him slapped with a 6 month jail term?

    As for all that you have said about Hamids trial and back room deals, what not, why would you think anything else? This is the template of your life.

  14. lol Hamid, your antics is one of the main reasons that cost MDP the Presidency. And with your continued antics good luck for re-election!

  15. Hamid must be shitting in his pants since Backbone Umar is on the lose as Home Minister. F**k! May God save the Maldives. Better still, save the people and sink the place.

  16. Hamidh is the reason why MDP failed to win this election ! Alcohol drinking hamidh you go away from MDP !

  17. You speak as if you know who I am. The common assumption that I have any link to Kulhudhuffushi MP Mohamed Nasheed has been disproven by the happy coincidence of his engagement in parliamentary debate at the exact time I posted a comment on this website. I have never even spoken to the man actually.


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