“No reason” to delay trial for just four weeks, says Nasheed

Former President Mohamed Nasheed has requested state institutions consider the Prosecutor General’s statement to the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court during the most recent hearing of his ongoing trial.

During the hearing on Wednesday (March 7), state prosecutors said they did not object to delaying the trial until presidential elections scheduled for later this year are over.

The prosecution told the three-member panel of judges that they “did not have any problem” withholding the trial for four weeks, and “did not object to delaying the election until the end of the scheduled presidential elections in September 2013.”

Nasheed is facing criminal charges over the controversial detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed during the last days of his presidency.

Speaking during a party rally held on Wednesday evening, President Nasheed stated that the four-week break granted by the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court until the next hearing was an opportunity for state institutions to decide on the matter.

“Delaying trial for just four weeks has no meaning. There is no reason for it nor does it help anyone. We want the trial to be delayed till the elections are over. [The prosecution] gave one month and said that they did not object to further delays,” Nasheed told his supporters.

Nasheed said that it was very clear that charge of arresting the judge was not a charge against him alone, but several others as well.

He also warned that if the magistrate court issued a verdict that would bar him from contesting the elections, a lot of people would rise up against the decision and trigger a “very dangerous political insurgency”.

“Can remain straitjacketed for another 40 days”: former president

“[The government] and the prosecutor general knows very well that Nasheed of Galolhu Keneryge can remain straitjacketed for anther 40 days. He can do that. The torture he receives from it will not change anything,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed also criticised the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) stating that the problem with Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court was not just the panel of judges. He alleged that the JSC had formulated the bench and have now been forcing administrative staff of the court to do specific things to impact the trial.

Elaborating, Nasheed claimed that the current Cabinet Secretary of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, Abdulla Nazeer – who was a state minister of education – regularly paid visits to the judges and cabinet ministers and regularly contacted the judges to inquire about the progress of the trial.

“Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential hopeful Abdulla Yameen does not talk about the case. Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali does not speak about it. But it is always traitor Waheed who speaks of it,” Nasheed said.

“He will always say it is with the courts. We are seeing today and every other day how much he is trying to influence this trial. It is posing a huge challenge towards a fair and transparent hearing.”

Nasheed further claimed that the current judiciary of the Maldives was being operated for the benefit of a few politicians.

Despite the law stating otherwise, the judiciary was incompetent and inexperienced, and could not guarantee a court room that would deliver justice to the people of the country, Nasheed said.

“They will take us tomorrow. Even then, be courageous. They will take us the day after tomorrow. Even then, be courageous. Next time it would not be just a day, next time it would be 10 days, perhaps a month but still we shall not back down,” he said, as supporters roared in support.

No withdrawal, no objection

Despite Nasheed’s remarks, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz stated that he was not withdrawing the charges against Nasheed, and said that he was still sticking by his decision.

He told local newspaper Haveeru that the state prosecutors will be present any time the court wishes to schedule the trial.

“We told [Nasheed’s lawyers] that we have no problem requesting the court delay the hearing for four weeks. We even told the court that,” he said. “I don’t mind even if the court delays the case. But we don’t have an desire to delay the trial. The court can carry out the trial the way they wish. I have no objection to it; we would follow the schedule they give.”

During Wednesday’s hearings, Nasheed’s legal team requested the court delay the trial until the end of the scheduled presidential elections in 2013, and in a separate request, asked the court for a delay in proceedings by four weeks.

However, the judges dismissed the request to delay the trial until the end of the elections, but agreed to withhold it for four weeks, stating that the panel of judges by majority “have decided to proceed with the trial”.

Nasheed’s lawyers subsequently contested the decision, claiming that continuing the trial could compromise the rights of many people, arguing that Nasheed was the presidential candidate of the largest political party in the country, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

However, the court stated that Nasheed’s claim he was the presidential candidate of a political party lacked legal grounds to support it, as presidential candidates were announced by the Elections Commission after it opened the opportunity to file presidential candidates.

Politicised trial

Speaking to Minivan News, the former President’s Spokesperson MP Mariya Ahmed Didi claimed the court’s decision reflected “how politicised” the trial was.

“The prosecution did say that they had no objection to defer the trial after the election. However, the court opted for a four week [delay],” she said. “We do feel that the fact that the PG has said that he did not object but the court to give only four weeks deferment shows how politicised this trial is.”

Didi added that Nasheed’s legal team had not ruled out the option of appeal and said that President Nasheed and senior members of MDP are currently engaged in discussion with the legal team on whether to do so.

Speaking to Minivan News, Kirsty Brimelow QC, one of three UK-based experts on former President Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team, said that there remained a “strong argument” in the case that the prosecution of Nasheed was “not in the public interest”.

“It is a strong argument that a prosecution is not in the public interest. The currently constituted court comprises of judges who may be biased or have the appearance of bias. They should recuse themselves,” she argued.

She also contended that the prosecution of Nasheed’s case before the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court fell “below international standards for fair trial procedure”.


11 thoughts on ““No reason” to delay trial for just four weeks, says Nasheed”

  1. Make up your mind man! Do you want it fast tracked or delayed? You are confusing.

  2. Nasheed, for God sake get some one else to be the presidential candidate and stop been a teenager who is blinded by Mariya's toy love. Grow up man!

  3. No need to delay your trial at all. You need to answered to the people why you had arrested the judge.

    You are not above law and its a crime that you had committed and you need to be answerable the crimes you had committed. You are not above the law.

    You tried to show muscles to threaten the people and you rule the country like a dictator and that is why you lost your job.

    Now go home and stay home and with the will of all nightly AllAH, you will never be able to come back tp wooer ever in Maldives.

  4. some people are just above the law... We cannot bring criminals like Anni to justice...

  5. Anni just have to break up with Mariya Didi and be more faithful his wife before people could trust him.

  6. mody, a president has the duty to protect the people from child abusers and criminals like ablho.

    I say Nasheed should have directed ablho's execution, like the Libyan freedom fighters killed Gaddafi.

  7. Maldivians are a people who have been under absolute rulers throughout their history. The last such dictator we know. It was Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

    The children who are playing games today on the political stage are his direct descendants and heirs. They do not have the authority and sense of responsibility that the father-figure actually had.

    Gayoom went, and he did not go. He has always been there. That is the paradox and dilemma. He went and at the same time he did not go.

    The situation is not surprising because of the length of his rule: 30 years.

    An Islamic scholar by training, Mr Gayoom did not prepare the country for democracy. No wonder. He did not know how to do it. Even if he did know, he was too much reliant on some other people close to him who did not know how to do it.

    At least after Mr Gayoom and his friends came to power, Maldives has been a miniature and surrogate Arab state. The real Arab states in the Middle East are struggling to usher in democracy.

    Many influential Arabs oppose democracy because they think it is a western ideology and also it is un-Islamic in character.

    The situation in Maldives is the same as in Arab states. Many of the influential players in Maldivian politics,even now, are actually Islamic scholars. Don't get carried away by the fact that they speak English.

    Turn-coat President Waheed has lost all credibility. His last address to Parliament a few days ago was all about religion and sovereignity. It was an appeal to narrow nationalism which was borrowed directly from past dictators, especially Gayoom.

    We live in a globalised world. Interdependence between nations, and secular politics is the need of the hour. The Western Powers who have ruled the world for so long are quietly preparing to surrender some of their powers to China and India, among others.

    Maldives is still a feudal and medieval society. Its leading characters and institutions testify to this statement of mine.

    Our medieval society sits uneasily with our modern tourism industry.

    We have yet to free our women.

    We have yet to empower the majority, and create a Parliament and Judiciary that are as good as our tourism industry.

    The islanders, yes the islanders, are still regarded as low caste and inferior to the Male people, especially the beifulu class who still hold sway in the country.

    We have 2600 years of history, but we have nothing to teach to the world: except the word 'atoll'.

    Some of us think we have a geopolitical choice between China and India. They are joking. They are stupid. We have to be with India, or not exist at all.

  8. This guy is confused guy and he does not remember what he talk in just few minutes.

    All Garudiya pipelines and Rihaakuru lines are the proof.

  9. No need to delay nothing!
    Get rid of traitors!
    Get rid of criminal judges!
    Put the horse before the cart and git going!
    No confusion!

  10. No one is above the law!

    Immaterial of who, Gayyoom, Ilyas, Yaameen, Gasim, Thasmeen, Nasheed, Waheed etc., etc.!

    Start from 1978 and go down the line of happening descending!

    Follow the pattern of the "Animal Farm" commandments how they were originally written, but somehow changed, unknowingly, will not be edible these days!


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