The final report of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) into the controversial transfer of power on February 7 will be delayed, after hundreds of people have come forward offering new information.
The CNI held a press conference on Thursday morning to update the media on its progress. The next update will be in a fortnight, July 19.
CNI Co-Chair – retired Singaporean Judge G P Selvam – stated that the new date for the report’s completion would be the end of August, which would be discussed with the government. The original deadline was July 31.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s member on the Commission, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, said that 244 people had registered to provide information to the commission following the reforming of the CNI.
“There has been a lot of interest. We will speak to each and every single one,” he said.
The new names will join the 87 spoken to by the government’s original three member panel, taking the total number of contributors to 331.
“That’s one contributor for every 1000 of population,” Saeed remarked.
The commission has so far spent 103 hours conducting interviews with 139 people, working from 9:00am to 7:00pm every day. The new commission started work on June 17, 16 days behind schedule.
“Ramadan may upset the apple cart a bit,” Saeed acknowledged, suggesting that the CNI would need to take into consideration that people would be tired and drained during the day: “We intend to make [the hours] more flexible,” he said.
The first three-member CNI was appointed by President Mohamed Waheed, following a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation, in what he and his party have described as a coup d’état.
Facing pressure from the Commonwealth and civil society NGOs, the government eventually agreed to reform the commission to include a retired Singaporean judge and a representative for Nasheed.
The former CNI subsequently released a ‘timeline’ into events that took place between January 16 to February 7. The MDP accused the commission of trying to prejudice the work of new commission, and then released its own version of events in response – the ‘Ameen- Aslam’ report based on interviews with the security services. The government described the publication of this report as a “terrorist act”.