The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has accused the government of interfering in the trial of Adam Naseer, labelled by the President Mohamed Nasheed as one of the country’s ‘top six’ drug lords.
Naseer was aquitted by the Criminal Court last Sunday following a year-long police investigation, after the judge cited a lack of evidence.
DRP’s Vice President Umar Naseer claimed Adam Naseer was freed because police withheld evidence from the court, notably fingerprint and video evidence, and accused the government of trying to influence the judicial process.
“Police failed to produce video and fingerprint evidence. There is no reason why police should fail in this, it’s very basic. I suspect interference by senior government officials,” he said.
He furthermore said he would seek the dismissal of Attorney General Husnu Suood through parliament’s internal affairs committee, accusing him of working with Adam Naseer during the 2008 trial of Abdul Hameed Abdul Samad. Suood worked in a private law practice before accepting the post of attorney general.
“Adam Naseer is a friend of Husnu Suood,” Umar claimed, alleging to journalists that Naseer offered police witnesses in the Samad case bribes of Rf30,000 and a motorcycle each to alter their testimony.
Asked how he came by such information, Umar, a former police officer himself, said he was approached by several serving police “who knew I was advocating harsher punishment for drug offenders.”
Asked why the government would seek to acquit someone they themselves had labelled a drug lord, Umar said “if the government not included Adam Naseer in the list, the public would have been surprised.”
Spokesman for the President Mohamed Zuhair said Umar Naseer’s allegations were “a load of rubbish.”
“The attorney general has no links to Adam Naseer. If Umar Naseer has legal evidence to back these claims he should act like a respectable political leader and take it to the police rather than the media. Otherwise he looks in danger of trying to [slander] to gain political fame.”
Adam Naseer was acquitted not so much by a lack of evidence as by “intrinsic problems with the judiciary. It is was the only part of the state did not go through reform and many of the judges are the same as they were under the former government,” Zuhair said.
Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu said the PG’s office would prefer not to discuss the Adam Naseer case as it had not yet exhausted all levels of the judicial system and intended to appeal to the high court. He said he expected it would take two weeks for the appeal to be lodged at the high court.
Sergeant Abdul Muhsin from the Maldives Police Service also declined to comment, claiming that “we will respect the decision of the court whatever it decides.”
The “usual proceedure” is to submit all evidence at hand to the court, he explained.
Husnu Suood had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.