PG appeals Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court decision not to proceed with case against Nasheed

The High Court yesterday concluded hearings of an appeal by the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) against a decision by the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court not to proceed with a case against former President Mohamed Nasheed over the military’s detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

On July 18, the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court rejected a case filed by the PGO against former President Nasheed and former Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim as well as senior military officers over the arrest of the judge.

Hulhumale’ Court Magistrate Moosa Naseem told Minivan News at the time that the case was sent back to the PGO after the court decided that it did not have the jurisdiction to deal with such cases.

“We studied the case and we found that we do not have the jurisdiction to deal with the case according to article 66 of the Judicature Act,” Naseem explained.

According to the Judicature Act, Naseem said, the Hulhumale’-based court can only accept the case after the Chief Justice issues a decree in agreement with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the Judicial Council as stated in the article 66(b) of the Act.

Article 66(b) of the Judicature Act states that: “in accordance with section (a) of this article, if additions or omission to the jurisdictions stipulated in schedule 5 of this Act has to be carried out, the modification has to be done in agreement with the Judicial Service Commission and the Judicial Council and by a decree issued by the Chief Justice.”

According to local media reports, Assistant Public Prosecutor Abdulla Rabiu argued at the High Court yesterday that the magistrate court had jurisdiction to hear any cases involving criminal offences in the court’s judicial district.

The PGO lawyer requested that the High Court overturn the magistrate court’s decision and rule that the court has the jurisdiction to hear the case.

He noted that the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court had accepted a separate case involving threats made against Judge Abdulla Mohamed based on advice from the Supreme Court.

Adjourning yesterday’s hearing, High Court Judge Yousuf Hussain said that a verdict would be issued at the next trial date if there were no further issues to clear up after reviewing the appeal.

On January 16, Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was detained by the military, after he had opened the court to order the immediate release of former Justice Minister, current Home Minister and deputy leader of the Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP), Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.

In late 2011, Judge Abdulla was himself under investigation by the JSC, the country’s judicial watchdog, for allegedly politically biased comments made to private broadcaster DhiTV. The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was due to release a report into Judge Abdulla’s ethical misconduct, however the judge approached the Civil Court and successfully filed an injunction against his further investigation by the judicial watchdog.

The Nasheed administration accused the judge 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 human rights violations and corruption cases.

Judge Abdulla’s arrest sparked three weeks of anti-government protests in January, leading the Nasheed administration to appeal for international assistance from the Commonwealth and UN to reform the judiciary.

Back in February, a spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs,  said the bloc remained committed to discussing judicial reform with the Waheed administration on the back of concerns raised by former President Nasheed about the nation’s judges.

“Shortly before the events of February 6 to February 7, we were asked for assistance [with judicial reform], as were the UN and Commonwealth. We were ready to look into this matter and hope to discuss the matter further with the Maldivian authorities,” added the spokesperson for High Representative Ashton at the time.

“Judicial interference”

During his inaugural address back in March, President Waheed claimed he would look to avoid “judicial interference”.

President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza at the time said the government hoped to “strengthen” independent institutions like the parliament and the courts.

Riza claimed that the executive branch under former President Mohamed Nasheed was often involving itself in parliamentary and judicial affairs that were supposed to function independently as separate bodies under the constitution.

“We want to empower institutions, not interfere with the decisions they are taking,” the spokesperson said.


One thought on “PG appeals Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court decision not to proceed with case against Nasheed”

  1. There are no laws enforceable in the country, when it come to Anni. By proxy, this extends to his loyalists.

    No court in their senses would dare do against Anni and try to prosecute him. Reality is, before the legal processes and convictions are reached, outlaw rules will take over and they will skin the judges alive.

    No wonder then, HulhuMale judge shit his pants and immediately was hospitalised with high fever when this case landed on his desk.


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