Supreme Court orders release of MPs

The Supreme Court of Maldives has overturned a High Court ruling to keep MPs Gasim Ibrahim and Abdulla Yameen under house arrest for 15 days, ordering the immediate release of the high-profile businessmen and minor opposition party leaders.

Yameen and Gasim were detained pending an investigation into alleged corruption, bribery and treason.

A legal team led by former Attorneys General Azima Shukoor and Dr Hassan Saeed, representing the MPs, appealed the High Court decision last week on the grounds that the arrest was unlawful as Gasim was taken to the police station “to clarify something.”

Today’s ruling invalidates both the Criminal Court order to keep the MPs under house arrest for three days and the High Court ruling to extend the period to 15 days.

Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed said there was no room to uphold the lower court rulings granting the police authority to arrest the MPs.

The panel of five judges on the interim court concurred that the evidence presented was not sufficient to keep Gasim and Yameen under house arrest or in custody.

Speaking to press after the verdict, former Justice Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Dr Hassan Saeed said the ruling was “a victory for separation of powers in the Maldives.”

“Both of them were arrested in violation of the constitution and today this has been proven,” the Dhivehi Qaumee Party leader said.

Mulaku MP Yamin told reporters that the highest court of appeal in the country has ruled that police disregarded the law and the constitution in arresting the MPs.

“This is a victory for the Maldivian people, a complete victory,” said Gasim.

Crowds of PA and JP supporters gathered outside the former presidential palace Theemuge that houses the Supreme Court and High Court, to celebrate the ruling.

The leaders of the opposition People’s Alliance and Jumhoori Party (Republican Party) was arrested on 29 June in the wake of the en masse resignation of the cabinet, who claimed that opposition MPs were obstructing the government with the passage of laws intended to wrest executive power from the president.

The first hearing

At last week’s Supreme Court hearing, police requested that the court abolish provisions in the parliamentary rules of procedure that restrict the detention of MPs.

Ibrahim Riffath, Deputy Solicitor General advocating on behalf of the police in his personal capacity, argued the provisions were unconstitutional as article 88(a) of the constitution only grants authority to the People’s Majlis to formulate regulations for its administration and that MPs’ privilege could not be extended through such regulations.

According to local newspaper Haveeru, another point of contention at the hearing was interpreting article 45 of the constitution, which states everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained, arrested or imprisoned except as provided by law enacted by the People’s Majlis in accordance with article 16.

Article 16 restricts Majlis to enacting laws that could limit rights and freedoms to any extent only if demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Grilled by the judge, Mohamed Jinah from police said the law referred to in article 45 was the Police Act, which grants police extensive powers for criminal investigation.

However, former AG Hassan Saeed said it refers to the Criminal Justice Procedures Act, which was being drafted at the same time as the constitution.

Hassan Saeed said the Police Act does not specify how arrests and detentions should be made.

Asked whether such a law existed, he answered no.


48 thoughts on “Supreme Court orders release of MPs”

  1. Anni, the so called President of Maldives miscalculates again. The only decent thing for him to do now is to relinquish the presidency to his vice president and call for new elections.

  2. not surprised at all... its judges like you who make us maldivians so proud. one thing we all know for 1000% sure is, judgement day will be fair...and that day will come...

  3. Why doesn't this surprise me at all?? Talk about independence of the judiciary and it being on par with one that is required of a democracy!!

  4. This is PATHETIC..... Whether they are gulty or not Government has been been childish in this issue. i think Anni is rarely giving an ear to his fellow maldivians.

    Ive had patience all these days , anni is only trying to improve his image to the outside more civilised societies rather than trying to get things better here in the Maldives.
    i think there is a bigger issue with the airport deal and all this corruption bu..lshit was just a diversion.

    To hell with democracy , hail to autocracy and Maumoon atleast things were easier for the ordinary person than, justice system was not right than but even now its much more worse and the rest is worse than before....

  5. I call upon Anni to arrest the Supreme Court judges one by one. Anni could leak again letters written by MDP activists stating all the supreme court judges were planning to release Gasim and Yamin.
    And Police should arrest them in 1 hour.

  6. Is anyone concerned that todays court rulings, expected retaliation from MDP and supporters, and on-going celebrations by the opposition might just spark off civil disobedience, social unrest and lawlessness?
    MDP wont give up without a fight, and the opposition will not give in an inch. So, we have the government vs the parliament/opposition fighting, over what? The loosers being the poor islanders who may not tell the difference between who is right or wrong but just caught up in the crossfire of media programs hour after hour. Imagine the confusion the people have now!! Life is hard today, getting harder as wages and benefits from resorts are regulated. The embarrassing and senseless war of words in parliament and on TV makes it even worse. Countrymen, when we were on the streets a few years ago fighting the previous regime, we did it as a team for the future of our children. Multi party politics was new and so we made mistakes, but now it is over two years and at this juncture let's ask ourselves whether we are fighting to keep our rich, powerful, political leaders and representatives from both sides (corrupt or otherwise)in control or are we are fighting for the better future of our children who are now lost, confused and rebellious? Nasheed, Gasim, Yamin, Nazim, Munavaru, Zaki, Rico, and everyone in parliament and cabinet sleep comfortably on king size 12inch mattresses, they eat bread and butter, and their children studying in best institutions abroad. Each one of them has a pen worth a government salary, dressed up to impress, but NONE of them even knows that a simple blood culture test cannot be done in IGMH, that students in o level are unable to sit for literature or history because there are no teachers, that the vegetable market doesn't have even a paved floor!!
    They will always have a guaranteed good life as long as they live. Whether it takes decades to pass laws to benefit the people, they don't care. If anything goes wrong politically, they can easily migrate as we have seen from previous government top brass politicians.
    Maybe we need to start a fresh. A new election, a new cabinet, a new Majlis. Anyone with criminal case (past, present of future) should not run. Parliamentarians must have a basic standard of education, and those who play a role in the business field of the country should not be in committees that decide the fate of business in Maldives. A clear example is the tax bill. It would never go through as long as the businessmen run the parliament.
    Thank God the fasting month is just weeks away. We should all take time to think, discuss between ourselves and come up with suggestions on how the country can move forward. The people must do this, not the politicians.

  7. It appears that chief justice Mr. Saeed's scholarship was sponsored by Qasim. How can he rule fairly.

  8. we have doubt about the court rule. we should arrest them immediately. without asking any question.

  9. The whole Cabinet should resign saying courts are not co-operating with the government.

    President Nasheed can re-instate the whole cabinet again one week later

  10. Dear Real, We had a big , major , catastrophic Fight with the Dictator and we won, now we are tired. Fight ure own War in Europe not here. We need whipping , and slapping to get things done, we need a government like Singapore and China. Jail all the politicians and start the road to democracy and development like how they did it.

  11. i think all this opposition richest people in the country does not have faith their people. if he does he wouldn't do all this pathetic dramas in the Majilis.

    when you look at Gasim he himself isn't paying his own staff salary ... where on earth he will ratify any bills that would lost any money from his pocket.

    and then again Yaamin he's just another one. as we all know ... whole world know that they have had enough from this country .

    all this need to be arrest immediatley and bring them to internation court to investigate the whole things...

    i hope his excellency president Mr. Mohamed Nasheed will act against this people soon

  12. I see that the Courts have indeed lived up to their reputation... by no means a positive one.

    I'm glad something remain utterly predictable in this country.

    Crooks, liars, businessmen and politicians simply cannot be expected to face justice in this country.

  13. Crooks, liars and thieves go free again. Not a surprise at all. Gayyoom's 30 year regime has implanted this culture of lying, cheating and thieving in every sphere of society.

    President Nasheed's attempts to sort out this mess faces more challenges. The lesson from this one is that ordinary Maldivian's don't give a damn about democratic values; they'd rather take a bribe and fill up their belly. They are far too brain dead to think of the consequences.

    The rich and corrupt, well we know how they've lived. They will not let go of their privileged life without a bloody fight. The likes of Gasim, Yameen and Nazim will fight to the bitter end. They know full well, that the only way to remain out of a very long jail sentence is bribing anyone with influence.

  14. I'd love to see what'd happen IF a DRP/PA coalition were to come to power now. They'd re-nationalise all the privatised institutions. And raise Civi Servants salaries (I'd doubt they'd do that, since they're liars).

    Promptly, the World Bank and IMF will suspend their aid packages. They'd start printing Rufiyaa to finance their inflated budget and US$/Rf exchange rate will go sky high. Soon enough, there'd be food riots throughout he country. Let the party begin...

  15. Anni should have learnt something from the dictator Gayoom and followed his steps, just like how Maumoon arrested everyone he didn't like just after he got his dictatorship in 1978. It doesn't matter how ugly it looks, bring a military government here and jail the bastards Yaameen, Gasim, and the corrupt judges etc

  16. Surprising how people commented against the Supreme court as if it is a joke. These are the very people who are destroying the country and the rule of law.

    Whatever the ruling (however much you disagree), the courts decision have to be respected, if your a civilized person. Some people commented above are obviously not..

  17. Gasim/Yameen/Hassan/Thasneem

    Time to rally for an INJUNCTION on the illegal and selfish airport SELL-OFF and send MDP and ANNI reeling back to where they belong; street corners!

    I believe THE only crime of the opposition was to have forged a UNITED FRONT against MDP to thwart the SHADY and unjustified airport sell-off !

    ANNI and his immature politics, Huh!

  18. @An-nia

    Yes, he is. The dirty little schemer is working all along with those who had been deported from Maldives!

    Imagine the GOOD he will bring to this nation!

    Give him more time and it won't be long before the ROGUE has his LAST COMIC STANDING!

    The laughing stock of the nation - staging en masse cabinet resignations and within a week reinstating them?!

    Or should I say the Grand Old Duke of York MARCHING his men up and down the hill? And when they were only half way up, they were neither up, nor down!? LOL!

    So much for the record he maintained without having to resort to politcal ARREST! Only two years? That's how long his patience holds?

    Looking at events of the past two weeks or so, I get a feeling that ANNI wanted a SUMMARY execution for GASIM and YAMEEN !!

    He wanted to do things that fast, as if the Shiite Iraq was on the threshold of hanging Sunni Saddam !

  19. May Allah Guide us out of this endless mischief of our own actions. May Allah unite us in Truth & forgive us.
    "Nothing much can be said other than this"
    Allah knows best.

  20. "It appears that chief justice Mr. Saeed’s scholarship was sponsored by Qasim. How can he rule fairly".

    It also appears that the 2008 presidential campaign "Vathan Edhey Gothah" which paved way for the current government was also sponsored by Qasim Ibrahim. How can the government itself in the first place run the government fairly?

  21. I assume the police will just continue their investigation. Not having the two politicians related by the 'naashi gandu' under house arrest does not mean that the police cannot continue their investigation, does it? The issue here seems to be that having them under house arrest during the investigation was not justified under the laws these politicians make for themselves. Whether they are under house arrest or not, a crime will be a crime. I hope that complaints will be submitted against all the crooks in the system. Whether enough admissible evidence can be gathered will depend on how ready the people are to serve just rewards to those who deserve it. In any case, justice will always be served - if not today, then in the future. There is no way that people who abuse their human priviledges get away with doing so forever. It may not happen through the courts or through politics; if we look around and reflect we can see that universal justice usually happens in ways that makes the greatest impact on the people concerned. In the meantime, let us hope that Majlis will deliver on national priorities.

  22. Yesterday's ruling by Supreme court has wider implication than just Yaameen and Gasim: even the President can no longer violate the rights of a citizen; and there is no room for arbitrary arrests.

  23. Wasn't this to be expected? Would it have been possible to invest some political capital in judicial reform before thundering after royalists and would-be autocrats? Will the Maldivian economy be affected by further political unrest? Is our debt-burdened, impoverished and poorly educated nation ready for democracy? Or does democracy mean to us what it means to "them"? - i.e. Bodunge koalhunthakah havaru nerun?

  24. Latin America Losing Hope in Democracy, Report Says


    UNITED NATIONS, April 21 - A majority of Latin Americans say they would support the replacement of a democratic government with an "authoritarian" one if it could produce economic benefits, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday in Lima, Peru.

    The report, a harsh self-analysis compiled by Latin Americans, says that the region, which has succeeded in freeing itself from a long history of military coups and dictatorships, is facing a new challenge to democratic rule because of popular disenchantment with its elected governments.

    Created by the United Nations Development Program, the report looked at 18 nations and conducted opinion surveys of 18,643 citizens and lengthy interviews with 231 political, economic, social and cultural figures, including 41 current or former presidents and vice presidents.

    Fifty-five percent of the people polled said they would support the replacement of a democratic government with an authoritarian one; 58 percent said they agreed that leaders should "go beyond the law" if they have to, and 56 percent said they felt that economic development was more important than maintaining democracy.

    "This shows that democracy is not something that has taken hold of people's minds as strongly as we had thought it would," said Enrique Berruga Filloy, Mexico's ambassador to the United Nations.

    The report says that while unhappiness with political leadership has a long history in Latin America, the people now complaining are faulting democracy itself.

    Voter turnout is falling across the region, especially among the young, while civil unrest is on the rise.

    Since 2000, four elected presidents in the 18 countries surveyed have been forced to step down because of plunges in public support, and others may now be in peril. The countries surveyed were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

    All of these countries have either introduced or consolidated electoral democracy over the past 25 years, emerging from unrepresentative one-party politics or harsh and repressive military rule. All of them hold regular elections that meet international standards of fairness and enjoy a free press and basic civil liberties.

    The report acknowledges distinctive circumstances in individual countries, but it argues that there is a broadly shared political culture and social structure that transcends them. "The common denominators of this phenomenon outweigh the many national differences," it says.

    The report attributes the erosion of confidence in elected governments to slow economic growth, social inequality and ineffective legal systems and social services. Despite gains in human rights from the days of dictatorship, most Latin Americans, it says, still cannot expect equal treatment before the law because of abusive police practices, politicized judiciaries and widespread corruption.

    Are we heading to this direction.....
    Time will tell..

  25. 100% Muslim = 100% corrupt = 100% Maldivian

    A formula that will never fail.

    That's why justice will always be delivered, by God Almighty Himself.

    "Don't be sad." Sheiks have told us so. And so it is written.

  26. Ah and in a truly righteous move the supreme court suspends the prosecutions two lawyers...on 'ethical' grounds.
    A completely solid reason, which would deter any other lawyers from taking up a case against the honorable MP's.
    I suppose it can't be helped, supreme court judges need cash too.

    How long will we put up with this? Another 30 years?

  27. It looks like people who move into theemuge never want to move out by choice. Same is true for the Supreme Court judges. The Supreme Court judges have declared that they are not "interim court" as this article assumes but they are the permanent ones under the current constitution. They have happily diregarded the fact that they were appointed under the transition arrangements under the current constitution and therefore new judges will have to be appointed to the Supreme Court. When the highest legal authority have no moral issues in interpreting the constitution to their own selfish gain how can the common person expect any justice from them?

  28. O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do. (Qur'an, 4:135)

    Dear Judges, pls think about this verse of holy Quran. Allah is watching u and on the Judgement day each person will be rewarded as what he has done.

  29. Corruption is in the same league as that of Hard drugs. It will take more time to eradicate corruption in Maldives. Me and you too are victims. But what to do? All these money Qasim spend on Abdulla Saeed's scholarship came from where? The ammount of money Qasim spend to buy MPs came from where? Sorry. Anni's government should go ahead with their work and keep it up. Long live Anni's government.

  30. All protest should be held right outside the houses of these hypocritical panel of five judges. These five are the ones that will bring the whole country down into corruption. By that time even for us.. it will be too late to say "I told you so" to those who blindly support corrupted politicians.

  31. Supreme court ordered that the arrest was unlawful and unconstituitional. Please ammend your headline to this story.

  32. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of us.

    @Insaaf on Mon, 12th Jul 2010 11:59 AM: The verse you have quoted from Surah Nisa, Chapter 4,135 from the Glorious Quran is one of those perfect messages from our Creator. How could we deny or ignore Allah's words.
    Those who aren't sincere to our own Creator can never be sincere to even themselves. Let alone other duties. May Allah forgive them and guide them to Truth.

    If they & most of us remembers these or understand it correctly, I believe things would be much different.

    Allah knows best.
    May Allah forgive us and guide us

  33. what agony has befallen above us Maldivians that we cant get rid of these two Maldivian blood sucking monster mosquitoes. Supreme court is corrupted... the building it self needs to be torn down to bits... or else Maumoons ghosts and parts of his master corrupted ideologies will infect our society and population till it sinks like a paper boat in the ocean. why cant people understand that business men always think and work for ways to make money and money only.. even if it means to kill people or take bread off their hands. looters they are and those who worship them.

    this country will always be in the hands of looters.. people will just suck up their guts with their voices and sit watching the horizon wishing for a judgment day that is never gonna come. all all those business men will make you become slaves and serve foreigners in their resorts!!

  34. Democracy in this country cannot work when there is so much corruption. I believe we need to overhaul the entire constitution again. Too much loopholes in it. The executive power has no power. Those who should not have power have power. The whole thing is a mess. Maumoon has seen to it that we suffer after him. He is the godfather who controls politics even now. Anni wants to be a mini Mandela. So here we are stuck at a traffic light forever. Our country is going to the dogs.

  35. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of us.

    Corruption leads to lawlessness, lawlessness leads to injustice, injustice leads to mistrust, mistrust leads to violation of exercisable rights, & that leads to the perfect situation Shaithan wants.

    All the above characters are traits of Satanism. Allah does not love rongdoers & their supporters & will lead them to astray because of their own actions.

    May Allah protect our nation from this mischief & give us guidence.

  36. come slaves and serve foreigners in their resorts!!

    Ashfaq on Your comment is awaiting moderation. Mon, 12th Jul 2010 4:18 PM

    May peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of us.

    Corruption leads to lawlessness, lawlessness leads to injustice, injustice leads to mistrust, mistrust leads to violation of exercisable rights, & that leads to the perfect situation Shaithan wants.

    All the above characters are traits of Satanism. Allah does not love wrongdoers & their supporters & will lead them to astray because of their own actions.

    May Allah protect our nation from this mischief & give us guidence.

  37. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of us.

    Corruption leads to lawlessness, lawlessness leads to injustice, injustice leads to mistrust, mistrust leads to violation of exercisable rights, & that leads to the perfect situation Shaithan wants.

    All the above characters are traits of Satanism. Allah does not love wrongdoers & their supporters & will lead them to astray because of their own actions.

    May Allah protect our nation from this mischief & give us guidence.

  38. i respect supreme court decision..there is no fact.and i think anni is a looser.he should resign from office.

  39. Anni has forgotten that he could get the majority vote in teh secondn round with the support of Qassim and Hassan Saeed. Then they were not corrupt, and their money lawful!!!!!

  40. We must learn to respect the rulings of the supreme court. OK?

    Anni, if you need help press F1 and read. "Iqqra bismi rabikal zalee Khalaka"

  41. Hey mindless,
    Don't you have a mind. Oh! i did not realise you were mindless.

    Anni is a NUT like someone said he belongs to the gettos of Male and the street corners.
    He did not even know to act a President when given the chance. heheh


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