The police have been unable to proceed with the investigation into the alleged sex-tape scandal of the Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed, after the Criminal Court failed to respond to police requests for warrants, reports local newspaper Haveeru.
An official from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) – which is constitutionally mandated to oversee the judiciary – was quoted in the paper as stating that it had received a letter from the police noting that the Criminal Court’s failure to respond to requests for two warrants – made three months ago – had forced them to halt the investigation.
According to the unnamed official, the warrants sought by the police included authorisation for the police to take a facial photograph of Judge Hameed for comparative analysis with the videos relating to him, and a second warrant requesting the court’s permission to search his residence.
In a bid to verify the claim, Minivan News contacted the Criminal Court’s Media Official Mohamed Manik. When asked about the case, Manik told Minivan News that he would call back after reading the Haveeru article, though he not responding to further calls at the time of press.
Spy-cam footage allegedly depicting the Supreme Court Judge indulging in different sexual acts with multiple foreign women surfaced on local media last July.
The case rose to prominence once more after the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the first round of the presidential elections in October. Images and symbols depicting scenes from the sex-tape formed a prominent part of protests against the court’s repeated interference in the election.
The videos appeared shortly after a film – also involving Judge Hameed – began circulating on social media in which the Supreme Court Judge appeared to be discussing political influence in the judiciary with a local businessman.
The videos came after the arrest of Ahmed Faiz – a council member of former President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and the then-Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry – while he was allegedly trying to sell a sex-tape of the judge.
The public circulation of the videos and widespread media coverage on the scandal prompted both a police and a JSC investigation into the matter.
The then-Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has previously confirmed to local media that the police had been probing the case.
Police subsequently summoned Judge Hameed for questioning in the same month as part of its investigation into the video.
“We are currently investigating two cases concerning the video. One is the case of those who had been using the video to blackmail the people in it, and the other concerns the content of the video,” the spokesperson said at the time.
However, apart from the summoning the police remained largely silent on the matter.
The JSC – whose mandate includes looking into the disciplinary issues and ethical conduct of Judges – also formulated a five member sub-committee to probe into the matter.
The initial members of the committee included JSC Vice-Chair Abdulla Didi, commission members Latheefa Gasim, Ahmed Rasheed and two lawyers outside the JSC – Mohamed Anil and Hussain Siraj.
However, following Anil’s appointment to cabinet as the new Attorney General, he was promptly replaced by veteran lawyer and President of Maldives Bar Association Husnu Al Suood.
Minivan News attempted to contact Police Media officials and the JSC Spokesperson but they were not responding to calls at time of press.