Police today arrested Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and People’s Alliance (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim, after laying sieging to his house for half a day.
According to the warrant issued by the court this afternoon, police are seeking to question Nazim on matters concerning bribery, attempting to influence and threaten independent commissions, and attempting to physically harm political figures.
Police waited outside Nazim’s house from 11:00pm last night in an attempt to take him into questioning, but he remained inside. After several attempts by police to obtain a warrant, the court this afternoon issued a warrant for police to enter Nazim’s house without his permission.
Newspaper Haveeru reported that Nazim was taken to Dhoonidhoo police custodial.
A police spokesman said that police have been trying to summon Nazim for days regarding the investigation of a case reported to police.
”We last night informed the Speaker of the Parliament (Abdulla Shahid) that police needed to summon Nazim and had tried to take him [in for questioning], but Nazim did not co-operate with the police,” he said. ”He is now under police observation.”
He said that Nazim was “not arrested but summoned”.
Police recently arrested People’s Alliance (PA) leader Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim on charges of bribery and treason, after the case was reported to police by the President’s Office.
Days afterwards, several recordings believed to be of MPs discussing the sale of political influence and obstruction of bills were leaked to the media.
”The leaked audio clips were edited versions of the real clips,” claimed DRP MP Ahmed Nihan. ”They edited it in a way that they can achieve what they wanted.”
Local media have claimed that one of the voices in the leaked audio clips was Nazim’s.
DRP MP Ahmed Nihan however condemned the arrest of the PA MP.
”This is what the government does to threaten the opposition,” said Nihan. ”He threatens the opposition leaders and MPs physically and mentally.”
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf said he ”always knew that dictator’s Nasheed’s actions would be like this.”
”Right after the peace talks [mediated by US Ambassador Patricia Butenis and more recently, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa] concluded, police went to arrest Nazim,” said Mahlouf. ”President Nasheed tries to solve problems by creating them.”
Mahlouf said that arresting Nazim “was like arresting the Vice President.”
”President Nasheed is very dangerous. I would do not think he would be afraid to shoot people either,” Mahlouf added.
Nihan claimed the government was now expecting opposition parties to hold demonstrations that would deteriorate the situation of the country further, in order to charge more opposition leaders and MPs.
”President Nasheed will be behind everything,” Nihan said. ”MDP is a party that never respects their words and their pledges.”
He said that the ‘new’ cabinet reinstated yesterday was unlawful and that the parliament would not approve some of the ministers.
Yesterday the President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair claimed the wording of the constitution was such that parliament was only required to assent to a cabinet as a whole, and was not required to endorse individual ministers.
In a joint press statement this morning, the Nasheed and Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa said the government and the opposition had agreed to constitute a six member Majlis committee “to carry forward a dialogue addressing such pressing issues as the appointment of the cabinet of ministers and the smooth functioning of the legislative process.”
Nazim chairs the parliamentary finance committee, which was at loggerheads with the Ministry of Finance over additions parliament made to the budget, such as the restoration of civil servant salaries.
Nazim also put forward a motion to dismiss former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem, after he was accused of corruption by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for using the government’s money to buy a tie and visit Thulhaidhu in Baa Atoll.
Naeem claimed the charges were an attempt to discredit his office and prevent him from reclaiming the government’s money stored in overseas bank accounts.
“A lot of the government’s money was taken through corrupt [means] and saved in the banks of England, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia,” Naeem had claimed two weeks prior, announcing a financial audit of all current and former ministers.
Nazim the previous week had pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the former ministry of atolls development while he was Managing Director of Namira Engineering and Trading Pvt Ltd.
Both Nazim and Speaker of the Parliament DRP MP Abdulla Shahid did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.