Nazim and MDP MP Musthafa arrested for bribery, released by court

The Criminal Court today ordered the release of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa and Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim of the opposition People’s Alliance, who were arrested in the early hours of the morning on suspicion of bribing MPs and a civil court judge.

Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed ruled that there were no reasonable grounds to grant an extension of the MPs’ detention based on the evidence presented by police.

“Both of them were arrested last night on charges of bribing a civil court judge. According to the information we have, they offered US$6,000 and a two-way ticket for a trip abroad, and exerted influence on a civil court case,” said the police lawyer in court today.

“If they were released from detention, it could potentially obstruct the investigation of the case and we therefore request [authorisation] to to keep them in police custody.”

Police obtained a recording of a conversation on July 18 that implicated both MPs in the alleged crime.

Dhiggaru MP Nazim, also the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has been under house arrest after being charged with bribery, attempting to influence independent commissions and plotting to physically harm political opponents.

“It is just the onset of the investigation and there is a wide opportunity for them to destroy evidence if they were released, and we still have more to find out,” the police attorney continued. “We note that this is the third such case against Nazim.”

As the crime was “sinister” in nature, he added, the MPs’ release could “disrupt the peace and harmony of the nation” and pose dangers to the society.

Asked by Nazim’s defence attorney Mohamed Saleem for details of the allegations of bribery in parliament, the lawyer replied that the information could not be disclosed at the current stage of the investigation.

In his turn, Saleem accused police of “abusing” the rights of the MPs.

“Police showed no respect at Nazim’s residence, used force, tore down the door of Nazim’s house and broke using force and weapons and disrupted the peace,” he claimed.

Saleem presented the court CCTV footage of the arrest, which reportedly lasted over half an hour when Nazim refused to cooperate with police.

The judge asked police who granted them “authority to destroy people’s property”, the police lawyer replied that it was “only to reach Nazim”.

Reprimanding the police, Judge Abdullah Mohamed said the arrest warrant did not authorise police to destroy private property.

Police informed local media early on Monday morning that despite the arrest warrant issued after midnight last night, Nazim had refused to either answer his phone or reply to a text message requesting his cooperation.

Saleem said a recent Supreme Court verdict declaring the arrests of MPs Abdulla Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim illegal should be considered as precedent in this case.

Requesting a ruling to hold police in contempt of court for violating the constitution, he added that police were ignoring the Supreme Court verdict.

Media present at the court, including Minivan News, observed that Television Maldives (TVM) was denied access to the court chamber. On Saturday night the station aired damning claims by police officials that the criminal court was regularly obstructing their investigations of “large and serious” crimes, and evidence presented to judges was being leaked to defense lawyers.

Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that Nazim and Musthafa had been released from custody, and stated that police would continue to investigate the two MPs over the corruption allegations and hoped “to finalise the investigation quickly.”

“Sacrificed”

Addressing the judge, MP Mustafa claimed that police had violated numerous articles of the constitution as well as the chapter of rights and freedoms in his arrest.

The ruling party MP said the government had “sacrificed” him to justify its investigation of MPs to the international community.

“Don’t think that you also won’t be sacrificed one day,” said Mustafa, pointing at police. “I was one of the men who sacrificed their life to bring this government to power, but last night they sent police squads and abused me physically and psychologically.’’

Musthafa spoke vocally against corruption of the judiciary over a loudspeaker during the first gathering of the ongoing ‘People’s Court’ protests by the MDP, held earlier this week.

Parliament today

Both MPs were meanwhile escorted to today’s sitting of parliament, which was cancelled due to the controversial detention of Mulaku MP Abdulla Yameen, who remains under Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) ‘protective custody’.

Raising a point of order shortly after today’s sitting began, Musthafa demanded to know whether Speaker Abdulla Shahid was informed before he was “arrested and taken by a 25, 30-man military force that entered my house in their [military] boots last night at 2.45am.”

“The charges against me are that I conspired to bribe MPs and I am suspected of bribing judges of the court,” he continued. “And it’s also suspected that, asked by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, I tried to bribe the President, Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice, these three people. So I want to know: did I talk to the Honourable Speaker to offer you a bribe? Then I want to clarify with the President – did I plan to bribe him? Then I want to question Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, did you ask me to bribe the three powers?”

Shahid answered that the Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh informed him by telephone after midnight of the impending arrests, adding that he requested arrangements to be made to escort the detained MPs to parliament in the morning in accordance with articles 202 through 205 of the Majlis rules of procedure.

Responding to criticism that the Speaker should have instigated an internal investigation in the wake of the corruption allegations, Shahid said the parliament, as an institution where decisions are made politically, should not become involved in a criminal justice matter.

In subsequent outbursts, Musthafa claimed that police had put in solitary confinement and “physically and psychologically” harmed him.

“It is your [Speaker Shahid’s] responsibility to look into this,” he said. “I am under arrest and said to have bribed the three powers of state. It is your responsibility to clarify this. Abdullah Yameen isn’t the only person isn’t this Majlis. We can take solitary confinement, it is you who can’t endure it.”

Responding to Musthafa’s question as to why he was placed in solitary confinement while Yameen was taken to presidential retreat Aarah, Shahid said “it wasn’t the Speaker of Parliament who did that.”

On the detention of MPs, said Shahid, the Speaker was required to submit the case to the parliamentary privileges commitee within 24 hours of the arrest and seek the committee’s counsel.

Reaction

The President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair would not comment specifically on Musthafa’s case, adding that it was a police matter, but said the government would do “everything in its power to expose corruption” regardless of political alignments.

“The President said following the resignation of cabinet that he was prepared to even investigate members of his own family in his efforts to eliminate corruption,” Zuhair said.

“[Musthafa’s arrest] I believe highlights the government’s intention to investigate parliament and the judiciary regardless of party politics.”

MDP Chairperson Mariya Didi said she was “really surprised” to hear of Musthafa’s arrest, but promised that the party would be indiscriminate when it came to purging corruption.

However Mariya said she was concerned about the executive’s ability to see cases to their conclusion through the current judiciary.

“People have lost faith in the system – it is no longer just about parliament,” she said. “The public are very annoyed at the judges as well – it is not enough for justice to be done, justice must be seen to be done.”

The public’s lack of faith in the court’s ability to rule fairly in cases concerning wealthy, established and powerful individuals had led people to “feel hopeless” about any resolution to the current crisis.

Law and order has to be kept, but the whole place is a mess,” she said. “These are not political opponents [on trial], this is Gayoom’s younger brother (Yameen), and people who were ministers in Gayoom’s regime of 30 years.

“This one and a half years has been quite rough, but we have not arrested our political opponents as many urged us to do. [MDP] lost the parliamentary elections and became unpopular because of that,” she said.

“I don’t know how the international community must see it – they probably see it in terms of the same sorts of laws and practices as they used to in the West. The fact that most of the judges were appointed during and even before Gayoom’s 30 year regim is very difficult for them to understand,” she added.

“It took the Western world a very long time to reach where they are, and it’s unfortunate that they seem to expect us to get there overnight.”

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26 thoughts on “Nazim and MDP MP Musthafa arrested for bribery, released by court”

  1. Ask Mr. Anni to arrest Mr. Ali Abdulla for bribing not cash, but the Car to Alhan Fahmy

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  2. the courts are corrupt; the majlis is corrupt; the independent institutions are corrupt.... how is separation of powers supposed to work? at least the Forth Estate is still working - well done minivan

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  3. If Yameen's popularity continues at this rate, he may well be ahead of all other politicians presidential ambitions in the country. Anni is making him popular and I have no doubt that Yameen would be laughing in Aarah. Because its' actually good for him in the long run.

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  4. Where is Dr. Waheed his commentator son when so much is happening? Sitting on a fence or still abroad?

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  5. Sarukaarun beynunva gothaka kamenuvejjeya, ei bribe? democrasy ga sarukaarun beynun ha kamen nukureve adhi oposition paty thakun ves beynun gothaka hurihaa kamen nuvaane.

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  6. Ganjabo benun vani hurihaa kame ena hinhamajehe gothaka kuran. egotha nuvajjeya ei bribe dhinkama ena balani, then huriha idhikolhu meehun genes thalha aniya ko, jalalani. Mieetha ebuni HEYO VERIKAMAKI ?

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  7. EU and Commenwelth will put Economic Sensation over Maldives. Then kalo kihiney dhen Thiya heyoverikan kuraani. then jeheni huriha resort tha bandhukuran. Mihaaru raaje thihingani eneme resortakun. resort bandhukureema heyo verikan kuraani kihinetha?

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  8. Whether we may like it or not my assumption is Yaameen is destined to be the next President of Maldives. And I seriously believe if Nasheed and Yaameen contest now Yaameen will win the election

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  9. Maldives must have broken yet another world record for having the fast revolving door in a Criminal Court. If you are well connected, you come out faster than you can say 'justice'!

    I wonder how much longer Judge Abdulla Mohammed can save Jangiyaa Nazim. He knows that if Jangiyaa goes down, so does the dishonourable judge!

    It'd be revealing to see what's guaranteeing Judge Mohammed's loyalty to Jangiyaa; as a lot of people suspect, my suspicion is that Jangiyaa has got some pretty incriminating material on Mohammed.

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  10. To "DrW",

    I'm here. I have expressed my views in a previous comment piece, if indirectly: http://minivannewsarchive.com/politics/comment-toothless-civil-society-9196.

    As for my father, he is a sitting Vice President. And he is in the country. I cannot speak as to what his position is or whether he will make it public.

    Regards,
    ~Salim

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  11. Musthafa, you are 100% right President Nasheed has made you a scapegoate. Now he is in power you are just an ordinary man of Thimarafushi. MAy be you should hold a bigger mega phone next time to support Dictator Nasheed

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  12. The problem with Yameen and Nasheed is the difference between the intelligence of both. Yameen is 100% smarter than Nasheed in many ways. People thought after Maumoon, Yameen will be no one and MDP tried its level best to tarnish the name of Yameen, but he him self has become a political power house now in Maldives. Nasheed is good for talk without any substance, but Yameen has substance in his talks which people can believe. My guess is DRP presidential candidate will be Yaameen in next election.

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  13. We can't let all sorts of people go on committing crimes and then turn around and say the constitution allows it. This is rediculous.

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  14. Im a little surprised about the arrest of Mustafa, yes I do believe he is also a corrupted guy. We have seen enough drama's orchestrated by the govt and sometimes wonder Mustafa's case is another drama. If its for real,then its a good move. We have talked for ages about corruption in the whole system and yes The Majlis, The Executive, and the judicial system must be investigated if we are to resolve this deadlock. But how can we do it? I think we should go for a public referandom. Then it will more justifiable to take action and to prove to the outside world that this is what people wanted not a decision by the executive power.
    Arresting one or 2 opporsition members is not going to solve the core problem.

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  15. Dr Waheed & Salim are doing exactly what they need to do right now. Keep their mouth shut. The current situation gives them the kind hope, that is HEP to resign. So for them the situation itself is doing the work by itself in favor.

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  16. @hameed

    Yameen will win the presidency if contested now?

    I'd like to smoke whatever you're smoking.

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  17. Yameen is avaliable, FREE from the People's Supreme Court near DRP and PA Offices.

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  18. OMG Radun,

    Neither of us are all that keen on the President resigning because it is theoretically horrible and practically undesirable.

    Theoretically: For the first democratic government this nation has had to fail so spectacularly - that the president is forced to resign or is impeached, will be a travesty. One that will be testament to the theories that Muslim nations cannot transition peaceably into democracy.

    Practically, it is not really beneficial to either of us:

    For me it does not change my life in the least. Every privilege or duty I'm afforded by being the Vice President's child, I would be as the President's.

    As for the Vice President. He is not all that keen on taking over the country and being responsible for trying to get us out of the current mess we're in. The fact is that as a nation, we are in a royal mess fiscally, economically, and socially. We have more problems than any one government can deal with in its entriety. And he will be blamed for all five years even though he's had no say for the first two.

    As always, he's ready to serve and be utilized if the President or the people so wish it.

    Regards,
    ~Salim

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  19. @Royal Class Syndrome

    Smoking Ganja will take you all the way up to presidency! Try it. That was ANNI's only trick.

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  20. The President Nasheed’s tactics in power.

    1. “Nulafaakan dhekkun”
    2. “Savvis gadi iru hamain nethun”
    3. “hama buddhi filaa hurun”
    4. “gaanooneh othas nethas kurun”
    5. “chartun beyrah dhiyun”
    6. “misarukaarun karuna gas beynun nukurun”
    7. “misarukaarun siyaasee meehun hayyaru nukurun”
    8. “misarukaarun rayyithunge mudhaa nuvikkun”
    9. “thin baaru vakikoh beyvun”
    10. “siyaasee magaamu tha madhu kurun”
    11. ‘aifooraa fashah thakethi gena un”
    12. ‘musaaara thah thiri nukurun”
    13. ‘karantuge agu bodu nukurun”
    14. “corruption nattaalun” (by bribing Alhan, Gafoor, Redwave Saleem and working with people like Zaki, Afeef, Adam Manik, Sato, Jabir, Musthafa, etc etc
    15. “commando of chief of MNDF and Police”
    16. “cabinet isthiufaa dheefa anekka huvaa kurun” (without parliament approval”
    17. “MNBC uvaa nulun” (new name is MOHAMED NASHEED BROADCASTING CORPORATION)

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  21. We know that these people are crooks. We know that some of the judges are corrupt. We know the way that justice was dispensed in the past. How innocent people were sentenced, how they were treated, how court orders were denied, how bitter rivalries were created. How, for a long time, many, including myself, did not believe that a change was possible or were resistant to change.

    Today we have seen that with good intentions and dedicated hard work, anything is possible. Yet it seems that we are all supposed to continue to live in denial to serve the interests of a few. Live within the same 'system' and hope it will deliver us better results than it has done in the past, with the same people calling the shots and undermining any attempt for a systemic overhaul. No, thank you. Let the truth prevail. The only constant in life is change. Let ours become a good change.

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  22. Stop everything else and put Judge Abdulla Mohamed on trial first.

    Jangiya must have something really solid over him, that this judge is willing to forgo his duties to the country and ruin his reputation just to keep Jangiya even out of temporary house arrest or detention.

    And Yameen next president of Maldives? Unless he has enough money to pay every maldivian to vote for him i doubt it. Though one can never be sure of Maldivians, some of us still beleive Maumoon is an angel despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    Yameen is corrupt to the core and has contributed to the destruction of today's youth, for this alone he has no chance.

    He is languishing in the presidential retreat Aarah, his family visits every day.
    And yet he sheds fake crocodile tears about having little kids he can't see.
    The man can just about spin anything.

    @heck you must have been under a stone all these years. Or do you even read news at all? all the times President Anni was arrested and such.
    If smoking Ganja was all that is required beleive me Maumoon would have had just five years of rule. A dozen maldivians would have become president by now. Maybe even you Heck.

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  23. Dear Faseeh,

    The recent experiences of political figures, arrests and their subsequent court cases, confirms my worst fear, I'm afraid: That the Maldivian Police force is utterly and pathetically incompetent.

    In my humble opinion, whether the accused is a political figure or not, is irrelevant. A court of law needs evidence to convict guilty. The Maldivian Police have been so far unable to provide evidence to prove even one high profile case.

    Look at what happened to the weapons that the Police discovered from Masodige. I don't think breaking the wall of the house the second time was any better than the first time. There is no proof to jack those weapons to a human soul.

    Look at what happened to the guy who was supposedly caught red handed with a can of drugs in Addu (or was it Thinadhoo?). There was no evidence to prove that the drugs can police found outside his window has anything to do with the man in question.

    Look at what happened to the guy who was caught with drugs in Male'. Again no evidence to prove and he is a free bird today.

    How many times has Nazim been arrested?
    How many times has Yameen been arrested?
    Now there is a new addition to the list -- Musthafa.

    I am extremely disappointed that the whole world seems to know that these guys are corrupt to the bone. But the Police has no evidence!!

    I do not know the details of any of these cases except for the bits and pieces on the news but I do not blame Judge Abdulla unlike many others here.

    Law is Law.
    Unless proven guilty no one is guilty.
    And to prove guilty we need SOLID evidence.
    Please remember, as Carl Sagan said, 'extra ordinary claims require extra ordinary evidence.'

    Common sense tells me that Judge Abdullah CANNOT rule that they are innocent in the presence of SOLID proof. A recorded phone call here and a letter there may not be evidence in a court of law. The courts will have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt to rule someone is guilty of a crime.

    So PLEASE get SOLID evidence. Otherwise all this is such a waste. It already looks no less than a poorly orchestrated play!

    I am utterly disappointed and disgusted at what is happenning now. Get TOP legal advice. May be the Americans can help. Pull things together. The country has come to a virtual standstill.

    The arrested people should be freed if there is no evidence. If there is evidence, lock them up! The country needs to move on!

    Robin
    (A very disgruntled Maldivian)

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  24. How about taking IBRAHIM HUSSAIN ZAKI to court... when will that happen...

    And Minivan: I have come across that if I mentioned Ibrahim Hussain Zaki's name, you somehow do not publish...

    Minivan is unable to publish allegations against named individuals by anonymous third parties as this contravenes Maldives defamation law and article 6 of our commenting guidelines. If you have any concerns about our moderation policy, please email [email protected]

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  25. Waheed ge dari Salim aah!

    Vedun salaam ah fahu dhanavan!

    We all know this a political game played by Dr.Hassan Saeed (who wants to have an election in 2.5 years at any cost..as he wants nothing BUT PRESIDENCY), YAMEEN (he can't wait to run a Mafia state with his drug lords and street thugs and his crony businessmen..he knows he can't rule this country, no charisma at all!..would give it Kutti or Dr.Hassan or Dr.Waheed), Gasim (Needs cash..cash ..cash to fuel his business and his "charity Business" and wants one presidency term..for personal pleasure..not bad huh?), DR WAHEED (wants presidency one term and leave it to his family..possibly to his son..interesting huh?), Thasmeen (Wants presidency for 30 years or more as he is a student of Gayoomism and has groomed to be like gayoom..even his clothes, talks and body language is copied from Gayoom and plus wants some cash to adjust the troubled cash flow of his father's business), Mariya datha (wants it badly but have politically murder the characters of MDP leadership in like Reeko who's clown character is amusing)!! Lets see how this chess game is played!!

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  26. @ Naseem

    "Gayoomism? "

    lol
    I like this new religion. Or is it a cult?

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