Former President Mohamed Nasheed has decided to sue Criminal Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed along with the three judges who presided over his terrorism trial for defamation.
In a press release today, the opposition leader’s legal team accused the Criminal Court of falsely claiming in the media on Thursday night (March 26) that it would release the full court report required for the High Court appeal as Nasheed had signed the transcripts.
However, the Criminal Court has yet to provide transcripts despite the legal team’s March 15 letter requesting the full case report. The court has made no move to get Nasheed to sign the transcripts, they added.
The Criminal Court found Nasheed guilty of terrorism on March 13 over the military detention of Judge Abdulla in January 2012. Many international and domestic observers have expressed concern over the rushed trial, claiming it was marred by major irregularities including the court’s refusal to call defence witnesses.
Nasheed’s lawyers and supporters last week urged the Criminal Court to release a report of case proceedings, but the court had previously blamed the delay in issuing the full report on Nasheed and his lawyers’ alleged refusal to sign statements made during court hearings.
In today’s press release, lawyers said the court had showed Nasheed a transcript of proceedings from the first hearing of the trial, but the former president refused to sign it as it did not accurately represent his statements at court.
“President Mohamed Nasheed requested amending the document by including what he said at court. But the Criminal Court has not done so to date,” lawyers explained.
The court attempted to get Nasheed to sign the transcripts on March 13, the press release continued, but Nasheed told the court officer he would sign it in the presence of his lawyers.
“The Criminal Court has been repeatedly saying that the report has been provided to us because President Nasheed has not signed it. However, the court has not made any attempt to get President Nasheed’s signature on the statements that should be included in the report,” the press release added.
The court’s subsequent claim last Thursday night that Nasheed has signed the report was therefore “a blatant lie.”
“Therefore, President Nasheed has decided to file a defamation suit at the Civil Court against Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed and the three judges who presided over the case,” the press release stated.
The three judges are Judges Abdul Bari Yoosuf, Abdulla Didi and Sujau Usman.
Nasheed’s lawyers on March 26 announced the opposition leader would not seek an appeal at the High Court, stating he believed there was no opportunity for justice due to executive control of the judiciary.