Police have summoned Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, for questioning at 8.30pm in an “ongoing investigation.”
According to the Criminal Court, the summons was delivered at 12.30pm today. Judge Abdulla had ordered the immediate release of minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Deputy Leader Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed from police custody last night.
A police media official confirmed the summons but could not divulge details of “an ongoing investigation.”
Judge Abdulla’s lawyer and Independent MP for Guraidhoo, Ibrahim Riza, told local daily Haveeru that the chief judge would comply with the summons but was “unaware that police are investigating a case involving him.”
He added that the news “came as a shock” to the judge.
On October 26, Judge Abdulla had ruled that the arrest of Gassan Maumoon – son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – on suspicion of hurling a wooden block at protesters was unlawful, establishing a precedent that police could not arrest suspects without an arrest warrant “unless the arresting officer observes the offence being committed”.
The contentious ruling led police to release 11 suspects while the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) sought legal clarification on criminal justice procedures.
In 2005, then Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed forwarded to the President’s Office concerns about the conduct of Abdulla Mohamed after he allegedly requested that an underage victim of sexual abuse reenact her abuse for the court.
In 2009 following the election of the current government, those documents were sent to the oversight body Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which was requested to launch an investigation into the outstanding complaints as well as alleged obstruction of “high-profile corruption investigations”.
The case was presented to the JSC in January 2010 by former President’s member of the JSC, Aishath Velezinee, after Abdulla Mohamed appeared on private network DhiTV and expressed “biased political views”.
Velezinee observed at the time that it was the first time the JSC had ever completed an investigation into a judge’s misconduct.
“There are many allegations against Abdulla Mohamed, but one is enough,” she said.
“If the JSC decides, all investigation reports, documents and oral statements will be submitted to parliament, which can then decide to remove him with a simple two-thirds majority.”
In October 2011, the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) appealed for assistance from the international community over the “increasingly blatant collusion between politicians loyal to the former autocratic President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and senior members of the judiciary – most of whom were appointed by Gayoom during his thirty years of power.”
The MDP statement also referred to the corruption trial of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim, charged with multiple counts of defrauding the former Atolls Ministry, which remains “indefinitely delayed.”