President’s Member on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Aishath Velezinee on Thursday filed criminal charges with police against six members of the JSC, ahead of the panel’s interviewing of potential High Court judges this weekend.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that Velezinee had pressed charges against the JSC members, and said police were now investigating the matter.
In a letter she also distributed to candidates attending the panel’s interviews, Velezinee stated that she had requested police investigate JSC President and Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla, JSC Vice Chair and MP (DRP-PA) DrAfraasheem Ali, Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Didi, Speaker of Parliament (DRP-PA) Abdulla Shahid, former JSC President and interim Supreme Court judge (now removed) Mujuthaaz Fahmy, and Former Civil Service Commission President and current member of Civil Service Commission Dr Mohamed Latheef.
The charges filed included accusations that some MPs were influencing courts and judges “for personal gain and profit”, subverting the rule of law and obstructing the JSC from conducting its constitutional duties, “committing and attempting to commit crimes against the State using JSC and the courts as tools”, and defamation against her “with criminal intent”.
Today Velezinee noted that three of the six people being investigated by police were interviewing 18 candidates as part of the High Court Appointment panel, despite not all meeting the prerequisite ‘good character’ requirements as adopted and gazetted by the JSC on 30 December 2009.
She refused to sit on the interview panel herself, stating “serious concerns about the integrity of the JSC itself”, criticising the Commission “for continuing without responsibility or accountability despite the very public issues of breach of trust and embezzlement reported in the media” and claiming it had ignored her requests for a delay while it “proves itself worthy of carrying its duties.”
“The day I was attacked they decided that everything had to be rushed, and they’ve been holding three meetings a day from 8:30am in the morning until 8:30pm at night,” she said, claiming the haste was with the intention of having a high court appointed in time to resolve disputes caused in the aftermath of the local council elections.
“I haven’t had a day to rest, and it took 11 days to remove my stitches. I still need to go to hospital for the dressings.”
Velezinee was hospitalised on January 3 after she was stabbed three times in the back in broad daylight on the main tourist street of Male’, an attack international organisations such as Transparency International have condemned as potentially “politically motivated.”
JSC Chair Adam Mohamed had not responded to Minivan News’ request for comment on the charges against JSC members at time of press.
Last week the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said it was investigating the JSC for embezzling state funds by awarding itself over Rf 500,000 in ‘committee allowances’, contrary to Article 164 of the Constitution.