“This is not a court of law. This is injustice,” Nasheed tells the Criminal Court

The Criminal Court tonight continued to hear evidence against former President Mohamed Nasheed in an ongoing terrorism trial, dismissing the opposition leader’s repeated requests for legal counsel.

“I want a lawyer. This is not a court of law. This is injustice. This is the biggest circus this country has seen in its constitutional history,” Nasheed told Judges Abdulla Didi, Abdul Bari Yoosuf and Sujau Usman.

All four of Nasheed’s lawyers quit today in protest of the Criminal Court’s alleged failure to provide adequate time to mount a defense.

The former president is accused of ordering the military detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012. If convicted under the 1990 Anti-Terrorism Act, he faces a jail term or banishment between ten and 15 years.

“I call on all Maldivian citizens to stop this atrocity the three of you are committing here, to summon you before a court of law and ensure justice,” Nasheed said in court today.

He accused the three judges of authoritarianism, taking the law in to their hands and ripping the 2008 Constitution to shreds. The opposition leader also said he preferred an immediate sentence over a trial without legal representation.

The Criminal Court adjourned today’s hearing after announcing Judge Abdulla would be called to court tomorrow night. However, the four defence witnesses would not be summoned as they do not appear to counter the state’s claims, judges said.

Nasheed was arrested on February 22, ahead of the surprise terrorism hearing scheduled for the next day. The Criminal Court has held eight hearings since then.

Documentary evidence

State prosecutors tonight presented video recordings of two speeches Nasheed had made in public on January 22, 2012 and on July 2, 2012, and an audio recording of comments made at the police HQ on January 18, 2012.

A video of Judge Abdulla’s arrest was also screened in court, showing masked soldiers escorting the judge out of his home and into a military vehicle. The video showed Judges Didi and Yoosuf active at the scene of Judge Abdulla’s arrest, Nasheed pointed out.

In the January 22 speech at Raalhugandu area in Malé, Nasheed said judges were undermining the constitutional powers of the judicial watchdog body tasked with disciplining judges. As the head of state, he said he was obliged to take action, but said arresting individuals gave him no satisfaction.

Nasheed also said judges must have the required qualifications, honesty and integrity.

In the July 2 speech, Nasheed described Judge Abdulla Mohamed as a national security threat and said he had ordered the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) to treat Judge Abdulla as such, upon a request from the Home Minister and the Commissioner of Police.

Meanwhile, in an audio clip of comments made to police officers on January 18, Nasheed said he would not allow Judge Abdulla within 100 meters of a courthouse during his presidency.

State prosecutors also read from a transcript of a conversation between Nasheed and his cabinet on January 17, 2012, in which the former president asked his ministers their opinion on releasing Judge Abdulla or keeping him detained.

A log of MNDF’s observations of Judge Abdulla’s activities while at Girifushi, and several Supreme Court and High Court rulings ordering the judge’s release were also presented.

State prosecutors said Nasheed’s comments demonstrated he had directly ordered the judge’s arrest, while the video of the arrest, the military logs and court orders demonstrated the judge had been incarcerated against his will on military training island Girifushi.

At every opportunity, Nasheed repeated a request for legal counsel of his choosing, and reiterated his belief that the trial was unjust and unlawful.

The Criminal Court dismissed Nasheed’s requests, claiming the former president and his legal team had been afforded adequate time. They have previously argued case documents had been provided three years ago when charges of ordering Judge Abdulla’s “arbitrary detention” were filed against Nasheed.

However, lawyers in a statement on Monday evening noted Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin had withdrawn the lesser charges and pressed harsher terrorism charges on February 22.

“Even though we had the case documents for three years, we were reviewing and researching those documents and evidence to mount a defence for the intial charges,” the lawyers said.

“We have to start work all over again in order to build a defence for the new terror charges. This is why we keep reiterating requests for additional time in the ongoing hearings.”

The basis of defence arguments are now different, lawyers argued, stating it was “impossible” to provide Nasheed with proper legal counsel without sufficient time.

Meanwhile, the High Court on Monday threw out an appeal filed by Nasheed in which he claimed the Prosecutor General was not authorised to re-prosecute on new charges.

The appellate court claimed the appeal required interpreting the Constitution and said it had no jurisdiction over the matter.

Nasheed had also appealed the Criminal Court’s decision to keep him under custody until the trial ended. Lawyer Hisaan Hissein has previously said the High Court had rejected the appeal by classifying the Criminal Court’s bail denial ruling as a court summons.

Lawyers have also appealed the initial arrest warrant, and the Criminal Court’s refusal to recuse Judges Abdulla Didi and Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf despite the pair having provided witness statements to a 2012 investigation into Judge Abdulla’s arrest.

Judge Abdulla’s arrest sparked 22 consecutive nights of violent anti-government demonstrations that culminated in a police and military mutiny on the morning of February 7, 2012, forcing Nasheed to resign in what he subsequently called a “coup d’etat.”

Related to this story

Nasheed’s lawyers quit

Nasheed’s lawyers stage no-show citing insufficient time for preparation

State prosecutors influencing witnesses, claim Nasheed’s lawyers

Chief of Defense Forces testifies in Nasheed, Tholhath terrorism trials

Nasheed contests credibility of police and military witnesses in terrorism trial

Judges Didi and Yoosuf refuse to step down from Nasheed’s terrorism trial

Nasheed denies ordering Judge Abdulla arrest, granted three days to answer charges

Former President Nasheed arrives in court with arm in makeshift sling

Nasheed denied right to appoint lawyer and appeal “arbitrary” arrest warrant, contend lawyers


9 thoughts on ““This is not a court of law. This is injustice,” Nasheed tells the Criminal Court”

  1. Why doesn't this "Court" just sentence Nasheed and be done with it instead of prolonging a foregone conclusion?

  2. @raja on Tue, 10th Mar 2015 12:30 AM
    I guess it is to earn their bread!
    But this speed and sequence could be to be Oliver Twist!

  3. @Raja

    Exactly! These con artists need to stop wasting valuable time and money they could be using to bang hookers in cmb, kl, sing, etc. Or at the very least move on to better things like doling out fornication sentences to minors and rape victims.

    Clearly the "world is watching" rhetoric is meaningless and nothing will be done to help Maldives escape Gayoom family tyranny. Finish the dog and pony show and get back to running the economy straight into the ground.

  4. THis is the result of his arrogance and supremacy over Maldivian that he had in his mind and action during his dictatorship.

    Maumoon and Nasheed are same and Nasheed tried to rule the country under a very democratic constitution where kept the constitution aside .

    Nasheed arrogance has made him to loss his Presidency .

  5. its sad to see this nation being in the hands of crooked thieves.

    right now the only hope of obtaining a democratic system that's fair too all citizens seems to fade away. one way or another they will sentence Nasheed just to bar him from being a presidential candidate and a high possibility of banishment just so he can't be as much of an influence.

    these people have already done that, Maumoon banished Naasir, and he is going to do it to Nasheed as well.

    and our current president is no longer hiding his connection with the gangs, he is holding meeting with these "youths" in public places and does not care who sees. posing with convicted murderers and drug dealers. not a care in the world.

    and still these Maldivians fail to see the tyrant he is. they believe every nonsense thats been blurted out on DhiTV.

    im scared for my country, its being ruled by a dictator who poses with gang members to scare the public, and his right hand man Adheeb is just another thug who is used as a puppet.

    how will this country survive? what can any of us do? protests are going nowhere. and the current government is taking out anyone who is a threat to their rule, like Mr. Nazim.

    where are the MNDF personal who are loyal to Nazim? don't they realize how twisted this government is and that this country needs to be protect and its the job of MNDF to do it? will they stand and watch their respected general being framed and made a circus out of in public?

    do we have no hero's to step up and do whats right? is there no one brave enough to stand up against these tyrants and fight for justice? will we see our nation go into another 30 years of dictatorship ruled by gangs of thugs?

    i see no hope in the near future. i do not belong to any political party, but am a concerned citizen of this nation. who actually gives a f**k about whats going on.

    who will save us?

  6. Nasheed was left with no choice, but to apprehend this criminal judge who was in the pockets of drug lords and corrupt officials.How could have nasheed obtained a court warrant to arrest judge Abdulla from his own court. The parliament and indepandant instittutions controlled by the then opposition DRP was fomenting this since nasheed took office.

  7. Neither is the supposed word from above, from creator!

    But, does that make any difference?


  8. Indian government's Operation Cactus in 1988 reallly did helped the Maldivian people. This time the injustice to the Maldivian people by Yameen is much more than the then 1988 coup by the LTTE.

    Yameen and Adeeb is looting the Maldivian people. Adeeb, Tourism Minister was accused by the Auditor Genera;l for billions of USDollars worth of corruption. The next day, Yameen changed the Auditor General. Yameen has no right to change the Auditor General and it is against the Maldivian constitution.

    Yameen never implemented any clauses mentioned in the Commonwealth Coni report. It had so many clauses regarding the judiciary being independent. Instead Yameen appointed his own judges in the Supreme Court. Charged Nasheed, having judges and police as witnesses.

    Yameen changed the Rlections Commisisoner.

    Yameen's government's action on the Maldivian people is much more than the LTTE attack in 1988 which the Indian government helped abort.

    So, we humbly ask the Indian government to help us Maldivians abort this Yameen government as soon as possible and call for a new election in order to restore justice.

  9. @Hero

    It is not arrogance to protect the people of Maldives from murderers like abdulla mohammed.

    It is a noble duty.

    Your kind will pay for this. And next time, there will be no hithirikan.


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