President Nasheed criticises judiciary for “carelessness”

President Mohamed Nasheed criticised the judiciary during a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally at the artificial beach.

“When there’s Rf5 million in a bag underneath the bed and the judge doesn’t think it raises any kind of doubt, I wonder how they perform their duties as a judge,” said the president at the rally on Sunday.

He added that the government would not back down and will continue to arrest other drug dealers.

Following the rally, the MDP called for those concerned to “raise their voices against a justice system that is repeatedly careless about these acts.”

The criticism of both the president and his party follows the Criminal Court’s decision to acquit Adam Naseer of H. Reendhooge earlier this week. The government had previously alleged that Naseer was one of the country’s six major drug lords.

Naseer was arrested last July after police searched his house in Addu Atoll and found over Rf5 million in cash, as well as some drugs found outside his property.

This week, Criminal Court Judge Abdul Baary Yousuf found Naseer not guilty of dealing drugs due to lack of evidence.

President Nasheed said MDP was pledged to combat drug trafficking and abuse as there was “not one family untouched by the heroin endemic.”

Also speaking at the rally, MDP chairperson and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi called on everyone who protested against the proposed liquor licenses to demand the enforcement of the drug laws.

“Come out and call for the enforcement of the law on illegal drugs,” she said, asking for the support of the coalition of NGOs and the Adhaalath party, which brought thousands of people to the tsunami monument on Friday.

Mariya claimed the judiciary was not cooperating with the government in sentencing drug dealers.

According to the MDP statement, “one of the most important pledges of the MDP government is that of tackling the problem of drug abuse.”

The party mentioned the Naseer case, saying it “finds it worrying that the justice system is opening doors for these criminals to escape” and “we call upon the Prosecutor General to take this matter to the Supreme Court and work to achieve a speedy and just outcome to this matter.”

Naseer’s case has sparked controversy because he has previously been arrested and acquitted on drug dealing charges. He was also included in President Nasheed’s ‘top six’ list of drug dealers. Police investigated him for months before placing him under arrest in July 2009.

The MDP’s press statement claimed that “despite the forensic evidence found by the hard work of police, the justice system rules against the evidence and is careless in implementing justice.”

Police Spokesperson Abdul Moosa said “in every case we submit evidence at hand when the investigation is over.”

He did not specify what evidence was submitted for Naseer’s case or if it was admissible in court.

The PG’s office has said it will be appealing the case to the High Court, but did not respond to Minivan News today.

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) had not made a comment at time of publication.

President Nasheed said yesterday in his Presidential Address to the People’s Majlis that in 2009 “there was an increase of 41.4 per cent in the number of people arrested for drug abuse, when compared with 2008 figures.”

The president did not mention if the number of convictions had also risen.


7 thoughts on “President Nasheed criticises judiciary for “carelessness””

  1. Executive criticizing the judiciary may have serious ramifications in a democracy. Questioning such a fundamental basis of Governance does not help the credibility of a young democracy.

    What if the judiciary passes a verdict against the president.

  2. First thing Mariya needs to do is get her act together and work towards passing the evidence act.As chairperson of the party and parliamentarian she is clearly a failure in majlis, as an unelected member for the past government and as a democratically elected one. The police it seems didn't have or did not submit fingerprint evidence to the court according to this article in haveeru.wheres was the episode of NYPD they played on local media. Where as in your article the failures of the investigating MPS in what they claimed a clear cut case is not highlighted. They investigated the case for more than one year and clearly failed to liaise with the PG office. MPS needs to learn to do proper police work not just have big press conference in claiming things that they clearly cannot prove. If we are to abide by innocent until proven guilty then clearly the way MPS handle's cases has got to change. Now that MDP has a clear majority in parliament lets see them working more towards public good than bickering over political has been. We cannot be clearly go on blaming one institution after another. When the jail burns its HRCM, When the civil servants strike its the CSC and when law enforcement fails its the Judiciary. The biggest failure is that MDP clearly refuse to work in the parliament and are not keeping a level head. Buying the corrupt parliamentarians with questionable and shady dealings wont help very much.

  3. What evidence act...? We want to live in a civilised society. You don't need a fancily named legislation to decide on hideously criminal acts. Judges are called judges because they are meant to excercise their judgement. If they need a written statement on every possible action man could take, what the hell do we need them for? Even if you want to be a technical idiot, even then their is a thing called common law. Excuse my language but I get very angree that Maldivian judges are so childish at best that they don't know why we have judges. They have lost the point. If it is not expressly written somewhere, then the criminals go free. Anybody who can read and write can be this kind of judge.

  4. @ Maleesha: I agree to an extent. The confrontational style of politics being practiced by, not just the MDP, but almost all political parties in the Maldives may hamper development in all sectors.

    However, it is a necessary evil where a credulous public will swallow just about any poison concocted by political parties and the respective media organizations they each control. I think the President's statement, although a tad bit strong, is a long overdue criticism of corrupt and intransigent elements within the judiciary who refuse to change with the times. But, such inertia is to be expected by those who benefited from the "ancien regime" of the Maldives.

    The MPS cannot expect convictions based on presumptions and strong suspicions either. The concept of reasonable doubt prevents law enforcement agencies and state attorneys from securing convictions across the world and you are right in pointing that out.

    Yet, the maturity levels of politicians in the Maldives, I believe, reflects that of its masses but sadly the converse holds true at times as well.

  5. Its amazing that they have "very similar evidence" for Adam Naseer dealing drugs and Reeko Moosa dealing alcohol"

    1. Adam Naseer had a load of money under his bed.
    2. Reeko Moosa had a load of alcohol under the hood of his car.

    there are no finger prints for both of these issues, and there is only one eye witness, in Reeko Moosa case its his own driver.

    1. Adam Naseer says that he did not deal in drugs.
    2. Reeko Moosa says its his driver who is dealing in drugs.

    the only difference between the two is, its not a crime to hold large sums of money unless the prosecution or police can prove that you have acquired the money illegally, while its a crime to hold large amounts of alcohol without a liquor permit.

  6. Question is why present such a case at Court, without substantial evidence which would ensure that the guilty is proven guilty.

    Sometime back we used to hear we all are guilty unless proven otherwise and still today it is the same. Cops in their fancy uniforms better "buckle-up". Mr. President knew of the drug kingpins, but the question is why and how could the "COPS" be so irresponsible and present such a poor case after investigations. Here again I quote " POLICE REFUSE TO REVEAL INFORMATION IN ALL SUCH KINDS OF CASES, saying that investigations are on-going. Somehow I have the feeling that this excuse is all just but a cover-up and a loophole for the real criminals to make their escape good.

  7. @amazing: You will make an excellent Maldivian Judge. Use your logical arguments to deduce A=B and B=C so A must equal C. In the mean times The whole country is suffering from complete lack of common sense. Wake up to reality and wonder why we need any laws at all.


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