No police involvement in motorcyclist’s death: Police Integrity Commission

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has concluded its investigation into the death of Abdulla Gasim Ibrahim and determined that his death was not due to police negligence, or due the use of disproportionate or unwarranted force.

Abdulla Gasim Ibrahim died following an incident outside the Justice Building on August 17 last year, in which an officer attempted to stop a fleeing motorcyclist and passenger by stepping in front of the vehicle and appearing to strike the riders with his baton.

Leaked CCTV footage of the incident shows the motorcyclist and his passenger colliding with Gasim, who was parked on the side of the road, resulting in his death. The police officer then leaves the scene, as others arrive and bundle Gasim into a police vehicle. Police made no mention of police involvement at the time of the incident.

Following the release of the CCTV footage, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz  told Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee that the Police Standards Command had concluded that Constable Moosa Shamil – the officer seen in the leaked video footage of Gasim’s death – had used the baton to stop a suspected criminal in accordance with regulations.

The PIC statement listed six reasons as to why the commission agreed with the police service’s conclusion.

Firstly, it stated “there is reason to believe from the movements of the two policemen who stopped the motorcycle, that they came out in front of the Justice Building 20 seconds before the accident occurred, having received an instruction to stop a fleeing motorcycle.”

The statement then said that since the motorcycle was suspected to be stolen property, section 4 (c) paragraph 2 of “the Regulation Governing the Utilisation of all Lawful Powers and Discretions of the Police” allowed the policeman to attempt to stop the vehicle.

However, initial police reports only stated that the men had a stolen mobile phone in their possession. The motorcycle was said to be stolen property only in December 2012, after the case against the motorist and his passenger was sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The PIC also justified the use of the baton to stop the speeding vehicle driven by “someone showing disobedience”, citing section 2(b), 2(c) and 3(d) of the “Regulation Governing the Holding and Use of the Baton.”

Furthermore, “having examined the video footage, it is not certain whether the baton used by the policeman came into contact with [the riders] on the motorcycle, and where it is deemed that there was contact, it is believed that the contact would have been on the back of the person sitting at the backseat of the motorcycle; and that no identification was made to confirm that the speed or the movement of the motorcycle altered because of any police movement.”

The last point noted on PIC’s statement read: “having examined the video footage received by the Commission, it is known that Abdulla Gasim stopped the motorcycle behind the policemen after the policemen had gone to the centre of the road; and therefore given that the attention of the policemen at that moment was on what was happening in front, there is no room to find that the policemen were aware that Gasim was standing where he stood, as a spectator.”

“No hope of justice when police investigate themselves”: Gasim’s widow

“There is no hope of justice when it is the police themselves who are investigating their actions,” Gasim’s widow, Naseema Khaleel, told Minivan News, adding that she was “appalled” by the PIC’s conclusion.

“These are things that even a mere child won’t accept. In the leaked video I can the seen the policeman standing in front of the motorcycle and swinging his baton. How, then, can the PIC say that it would have hit the passenger, and that too on his back?

“And as for the speed and direction of the motorcycle not being altered after the driver was hit with the baton – the video doubtless says otherwise. Judging by these observations by the PIC which go against the video evidence, it seems they perhaps watched a completely different video,” Naseema said.

She referred to where the report described Gasim as a “spectator” who had stopped at the scene.

“The report calls Gasim a spectator who stopped there out of curiosity. I found that most hurtful. According to this country’s regulations, when there is a vehicle approaching from behind with its sirens blasting, drivers are to move to the side of the road. That’s what Gasim did. He wasn’t waiting around to pry,” Naseema said.

Naseema said that she felt that along with Constable Moosa Shamil, he other officers who were seen in the leaked video to be active on the scene ought to be questioned about the day’s events for a more complete investigation.

Parliamentary investigation

Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee has meanwhile decided to summon Constable Moosa Shamil for questioning.

“We believe that since Constable Shamil is alleged of having committed this act, we must give him an opportunity to speak in his defence. This is why we are summoning him,”said Chair of the Committee, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Waheed.

In view of Naseema’s remarks, Ali Waheed said that the committee had not previously thought to summon the other policemen at the scene.

“If members in the committee feel there is need for further deliberation, we will proceed as such. Speaking with the other officers there is an option we will take into consideration.”

Waheed said that if the committee felt it necessary, the parliament regulations allowed them to summon the PIC in relation to the matter they were investigating.

“Now that the PIC has also reached a conclusion, we will be looking into that too. We will be setting the schedule for these meetings soon,” Waheed said.

The committee summoned Gasim’s family on January 29. At the meeting, Gasim’s son Mohamed Gais said police had summoned him to obtain a statement in relation to his father’s death.

“The only question the police asked was if I wanted the death penalty to be given to the person responsible for my father’s death. I told them no, we want them to pay damages instead,” Gais said.

Naseema stated at the meeting that in spite of police having denied involvement, in light of the information available, she felt the police were still responsible for the death of her husband.

Police cover-up

Article 41(c) of the Police Act states that the Maldives Police Service should inform the PIC upon the occurrence of death or infliction of grave bodily injury to a person due to the use of force by a police officer.

Asked in December if police had in accordance with the said article notified PIC of the incident, PIC Director General Fathimath Sarira stated: “Police have notified the commission about the accident in a phone call. Although, when we first heard of the case, it was only said that a speeding motorcycle had collided with a parked one and led to a death. But then later, we got the footage too.”

Police Media Official Sub Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News in January that police had not mentioned the involvement of Constable Shamil to either the PIC or the public because “Initially even I knew of it as an accident. We wouldn’t know all the details at once. We learn facts as the investigation moves forward. It was portrayed as a cover-up in coverage, but we say it was an accident as that is what our investigations state it is.”

With regard to the PIC report, Minivan News asked Haneef if Constable Shamil had acted “having received an instruction to stop a fleeing motorcycle”, and if so how it was possible that police had not initially known of the police involvement as he had previously stated.

“Yes, he was responding to instructions and communication was made through our walkie-talkies. We had reports of the robbery and the accident as two separate incidents,” Haneef said.

PIC President Abdulla Waheed’s phone was switched off and Director General Fathimath Sarira was not responding to calls at time of press.


17 thoughts on “No police involvement in motorcyclist’s death: Police Integrity Commission”

  1. On that particular day, not a single police officer turned up for duty in Male'. They were all on baaghee leave. The guy with the button is either shaithorner or a MDP druggie.


    No police involvement? the policeman is in the middle of the street with a baton in his hand, seen bashing the head of a speeding motor cyclist. motor cyclist looses control and drives straight onto the pavement hitting gasim.



  3. Police are never held accountable for their misdeeds. This is very dangerous for the citizens.

  4. So scary when you can't trust the Police. More so if you can't trust the Police watchdog. Terrifying when you know the courts can't help you with justice either.

  5. To be fair, the policeman was an idiot, but he didnt intend to kill the guy,
    but the guy who was on the bike, as could be seen from the video accelerated trying to get away from the police. and the skinny feeble policemans pathetic swing costing the life, and him soleley being responsible is ridiculous.
    The policeman and the accelerating criminal on the bike both can be held accountable, but the guy on the bike more than the cop

  6. This is a small Island. The police are trained by Foreign countries or modules for training prepared according to what some of them have studied abroad. Using force on a speeding vehicle driver is dangerous to other people on the road. I don’t know why he was instructed to do so. I blame the officer who gave him the instruction. The chap was not a trained police officer. According to the media he was trained after this incident. Authority should not be given to untrained police recruits to beat people with baton. Am disappointed in the Police Integrity Commission. Please don’t play politics in every case you handle. This country has been ruined by todays adults just to get what they want specially people who have money and influence. I pity today’s children for they will have a hard life in this country.

  7. Very good. No police involvement here!

    This is great. JUst great!

    What exactly would you call involvement? Maldives have been known to inprison people who happens to be pass by a shop cooking alcohol.
    And those who have inadvertently listened to a recorded conversation of thugs.
    And those who are onlookers in a protest.

  8. To put things into perspective, reimagine this accident with an MDP activist out in the middle of the street trying to stop this theif with a stick.

    The next day this video will be shown at a news conference by police. They will make strong statements to hunt the perpetrator down. Take him into police custody. Make the whole of Maldives know he's to blame for gasims death. Make a show out of the court trial.

    But in reality, just because its a policeman, there was no video leaked. police gave a misleading account saying the thieves drove into gasim when they were trying to flee. never mentioned a policeman hit them and thats the reason why the thieves lost control. and when this video was leaked, so called media Haveeru or DhiTV didn't even report it to control the "damage". They held it for days until it became viral on Facebook. The PIC says police was not involved. When clearly the whole of Maldives know that it is out right wrong for that policeman goes free without any consequence or punishment.

    But when an MDP protestor standing next to a barricade is taken into custody all hell gets loose doesn't it. They don't waste a minute but to report and take them to jail, increase days to their temporary stay order.

    The public needs to stand up and hold these thugs accountable for their misdeeds.

  9. It was misfortunate accident poor fellow was in a wrong place in a wrong time. The oxymoron police did not have slightest idea on simple physics. The poor victim was trying to enjoy the commotion and simply stopped to see the action. This is a good lesson for everyone, for police, that a simple mistake can cause unimaginable damage, for public, not to enjoy from criminal scene and rather avoid such situation. Of course for criminals there is no lesson to be learned because they are abnormal people whose frontal lobe of the brain not evolves with empathy and rationality. The family of victim should be compensated by his insurance policy if he is not covered under any insurance that is again his bad luck. I don’t know when we fish heads will start thinking positively and rationally.

  10. If there had been no video leaked, we would never have known the levels to which the police will stoop to white-wash their own actions. A lot of them seem corrupt to the core.

    It IS the policeman's fault, simply because he walked away from the scene after seeing the crash and tries to avoid the area until he runs and hides inside a vehicle. He could have immediately started helping the man, instead he tries to appear as if he had nothing to do with the incident. This is clear from even a brief observation of his behaviour from the video.

  11. The Maldives, once a proud nation we were privileged to visit many times, continues to decline. Who is on this Commission I wonder? In UK, we have something called an Independent Police Complaints Authority...the key word being INDEPENDENT. This decision is wrong on so many levels.


    No police involvement? the policeman is in the middle of the street with a baton in his hand, seen bashing the head of a speeding motor cyclist. motor cyclist looses control and drives straight onto the pavement hitting gasim.



    Such cases to be lodged to the Supreme Court. If Supreme Court says the Policeman's involvement was not there, all Maldivians MUST blindly accept that ruling as per Maldivian law. How sad situation we Maldivians are in, isn't it????

  13. Will the criminals on the motorbike be getting a sentence? Because from what I see here, they were also responsible for this.

    The police will never be found guilty of anything. The entire system in the Maldives has failed, and is headed towards even more corruption and misery. The common man is always the one to suffer, while the commissioners, the ministers, the state ministers and whatever else is there, spend their millions on bmw's, alcohol and thai prostitutes.

  14. Nice try minivan. Only some low life mdp junkies will by this crap. Too bad mdp or minivan lacks any credibility or sanity for that matter.

  15. well the victim is in did in the wrong place at the wrong time. the police is doing his job. the criminal should take the blame always.


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