The government has today dismissed Mohamed ‘Reynis’ Saleem from his role as the president’s member to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over allegations he commissioned gangs to retrieve money owed to him.
An official from JSC – the judicial watchdog institution – confirmed receiving a letter from President’s Office informing the commission of Saleem’s removal from the oversight body.
In May, Saleem was summoned to the police for questioning over allegations he had used gangs. Police have now concluded the investigation and sent Saleem’s case to the Prosecutor General’s Office for prosecution.
Newspaper Haveeru reported last week that attempts made by police to arrest Saleem stalled after the Criminal Court refused to grant an arrest warrant.
An appeal by the police following the denial also failed after the High Court backed the Criminal Court’s decision to deny the arrest warrant.
Saleem has meanwhile denied allegations of wrongdoing, claiming in local media that he had not resorted to illegal means in retrieving money owed to him.
A police media official told Minivan News that no further details could be provided on the case at present as investigations were ongoing.
According to local media, the President’s Office stated that the decision to remove Saleem from the JSC had been prompted by the potential criminal prosecution expected to follow as a result of the police investigation.
Saleem was appointed to the JSC after President Mohamed Waheed took office in February 2012 following former President Mohamed Nasheed’s controversial resignation amidst a violent mutiny by elements of the police and military.
Apart from the President’s appointee to the JSC, the commission is comprised of the Attorney General, the Speaker of Parliament, a representative from the Parliament, a representative from the High Court, a representative from the Supreme Court, a representative from the lower courts, Chair of Civil Service Commission, a representative from the public appointed by parliament and a representative from registered lawyers in the country.
Saleem has also been accused of having close ties with aides of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his family.
Saleem was also the defence counsel of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim – a member of Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – in criminal cases concerning an alleged scam to defraud the now-defunct Ministry of Atolls Development.
Earlier this week, the High Court concluded hearing witness statements in the state’s appeal of a Criminal Court decision to acquit Nazim on charges of corruption.
Nazim stands accused of receiving more than US$400,000 through fraudulent transactions made by a company he was found to own.