Failure of judiciary, JSC and parliament justified detention of Abdulla Mohamed, contends Velezinee in new book

Former President’s Member on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Aishath Velezinee has written a book extensively documenting the watchdog body’s undermining of judicial independence, and complicity in sabotaging the separation of powers.

Over 80 pages, backed up with documents, evidence and letters, The Failed Silent Coup: in Defeat They Reached for the Gun recounts the experience of the outspoken whistleblower as she attempted to stop the commission from re-appointing unqualified and ethically-suspect judges loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, after it dismissed the professional and ethical standards demanded by Article 285 of the constitution as “symbolic”.

That moment at the conclusion of the constitutional interim period marked the collapse of the new constitution and resulted in the appointment of a illegitimate judiciary, Velezinee contends, and set in motion a chain of events that ultimately led to President Mohamed Nasheed’s arrest of Chief Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed two years later.

Nasheed resigned on February 7 after mutinying police and military officers joined forces with opposition demonstrators, who had been accusing Nasheed of interfering with the ‘independent’ judiciary in his arrest of the judge, and demanding not to be given ‘unlawful orders’.

The Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report found that there was no evidence to support Nasheed’s claim that he was ousted in a coup d’état, and that his resignation was under duress and the events of the day were self-inflicted.

“The inquiry is based on a false premise, the assumption that Abdulla Mohamed is a constitutionally appointed judge, which is a political creation and ignores all evidence refuting this,” Velezinee stated.

“Judge Abdulla Mohamed is at the centre of this story. I believe it is the State’s duty to remove him from the judiciary. He may have the legal knowledge required of a judge; but, as the State knows full well, he has failed to reach the ethical standards equally essential for a seat on the bench.

“A judge without ethics is a judge open to influence. Such a figure on the bench obstructs justice, and taints the judiciary. These are the reasons why the Constitution links a judge’s professional qualifications with his or her moral standards,” she states.

The JSC itself had investigated Abdulla Mohamed but stopped short of releasing a report into his ethical misconduct after the Civil Court awarded the judge an injunction against his further investigation by the judicial watchdog.

“There is no legal way in which the Civil Court can rule that the Judicial Service Commission cannot take action against Abdulla Mohamed. This decision says judges are above even the Constitution. Where, with what protection, does that leave the people?” Velezinee asks.

“The Judicial Service Commission bears the responsibility for removing Abdulla Mohamed from the bench. Stories about him have circulated in the media and among the general public since 2009, but the Commission took no notice. It was blind to Abdulla Mohamed’s frequent forays outside of the ethical standards required of a judge. It ignored his politically charged rulings and media appearances.

“Abdulla Mohamed is a man who had a criminal conviction even when he was first appointed to the bench during President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s time. Several complaints of alleged judicial misconduct are pending against him. The Judicial Service Commission has ignored them all. What it did, instead, is grant him tenure – a lifetime on the bench for a man such as Abdulla Mohamed. In doing so, the Judicial Service Commission clearly failed to carry out its constitutional responsibilities. It violated the Constitution and rendered it powerless. Where do we go from there?”

Parliament, Velezinee states, was the body responsible for holding the JSC accountable.

“The Majlis knew the threat Abdulla Mohamed posed to national security and social harmony. The Majlis was also aware of the Judicial Service Commission’s failure to carry out its constitutional responsibilities and its efforts to nullify constitutional requirements.

“Concern had been shared with the Majlis that the Judicial Service Commission had committed the ultimate betrayal and hijacked judicial independence. The Majlis failed its Constitutional responsibility to hold the Judicial Service Commission accountable for any of these actions. The Majlis had violated the Constitution and rendered it powerless. Where to from there?”

Ultimate responsibility for upholding the constitution fell to the President, Velezinee states.

“Democratic governance can only function if the entire system is working as an integral whole; it is impossible if the three separated powers are failing in their respective duties.

“Under the circumstances – once it was clear that Abdulla Mohamed was an obstruction to justice and a threat to national security, and once it became apparent that neither the Judicial Service Commission nor the Parliament was willing to hold him accountable – the only authority left to take control of the situation was the Head of State.”

With the return to power of Gayoom’s autocratic government behind President Mohamed Waheed’s “fig leaf of legitimacy”, the judiciary continued to be subject to influence, Velezinee writes.

“The judiciary we have today is under the control of a few,” she wrote.

“This was an end reached by using the Judicial Service Commission as a means. Most members of the Judicial Service Commission betrayed the Constitution, the country, and the people. They broke their oath. There is no room for free and fair hearings. And most judges do not even know how to hold such a hearing.”

“For democracy and rule of law to be established in the Maldives, and for the right to govern themselves to be returned to the people, they must have an elected leader. And the judiciary, currently being held hostage, must be freed.

“Article 285 of the Constitution must be fully upheld, judges reappointed, and an independent judiciary established,” she concludes.

Download The Failed Silent Coup (English translation by Dr Azra Naseem)


17 thoughts on “Failure of judiciary, JSC and parliament justified detention of Abdulla Mohamed, contends Velezinee in new book”

  1. We the people of Maldives who really love the country totally agree with Ms Velezinee. Thank you madam for the good work that you are doing for our beloved nation and the people.

  2. It was a mistake that Abdulla Mohamed was isolated at Girifushi because he deserves a better place like Hell Fire

  3. 'if I am unable to prove my claims, I will accept .... being put in one of those bird cages in
    Sultan Park and displayed to the public

    Thats Velzinees last sentence in the book. I think she longs to be a bird on display.

  4. Everyone stretches the rubber band, but in this case, she is probably right.

    But does it matter now? The damage has been done. How to undo this?

  5. how this lady was appointed to me a member of Judiciary commoison ? She has no such formal education neither she had much of the experience that is required . But she was appointed by Nasheed and it is within Nasheed discretion and allow Nasheed to appoint them.

    However this does not mean that she is qualified to the post ? She does not have good ethics and she is not honest and her behavior is unacceptable to any civilized society.

    She is talking about the rights of other people when she does not have any respect to her mother and other family members.

    She had been very arrogant to her mother and brother . Ask these people how they feel about this lady ?

    if a person can not give proper respect to her own mother, how can the person speak of human rights ?

    Just a joker !!!!

  6. Velezinee for President, we must throw out Anni Nasheed and put Velezinee on the ticket

  7. This woman has had no constitutional basis in her claims. Her book is riddled with falsehoods and misinterpretations of the constitution. She is adamant that the constitution required the JSC to “re-appoint” the judges however within two years of the ratification of the constitution the JSC shall (Article 285 (b))“determine whether or not the Judges in office at the said time, possess the qualification of Judges specified in Article 149.” So the JSC was suppose to review each judges credentials based on Article 149. Those that didn't meet the qualifications (Article 285 (c)) “should no longer hold office”. That is a far cry from re-appointing judges that qualified.

    No wonder the rest of the Commission, Parliament Committee, Police Commission and Anti Corruption Committee either looked into or ignored her claims concluding she had no basis in fact.

    She never states what crime Judge Abdulla committed. Maybe she doesn't because he was never convicted AND punished for theft, highway robbery, illegal sexual intercourse, accusation of illegal sexual intercourse, bribery, criminal breach of trust, drinking alcohol or apostasy. Which according to the Constitution are what disqualifies future judges from being appointed and any determination of the current judges qualifications. I wonder if any of the other 32 judges who lost their positions had been convicted AND punished for any of these crimes or were they removed to appease her. It would be interesting to look into.

    There are so many actions she initiated and procedures she bashed written in her book that clearly do not stand up under constitutional law. It's obvious from her book she was out to get Judge Abdulla with a vengeance for some reason and once she gained power as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs it wasn't very long after that her mission was accomplished through an unconstitutional order given by Nasheed. Where does Velezinee go from here? Perhaps before Judge Abdulla?

  8. ‘if I am unable to prove my claims, I will accept …. being put in one of those bird cages in
    Sultan Park and displayed to the public "

    bIRD BRAINED indeed...

  9. 1. There is a misrepresentation in Paragraph 2 that may amount to contempt of court or defamation against Judges in general. Aishath Velezinee's PERSONAL VIEW that certain judges on the bench are "loyal to Qayyoom" is misstated as a fact by the writer. Hope this will be corrected.

    2. In the same paragraph, the part that follows as ",dismissing the professional and ethical.." does not fit grammatically into the entire sentence. I assume the intention is to imply that the JSC had been the "dismissing" party. Yet in the correct form the sentence implies that Velezinee had dismissed them.

    3. In the 4th paragraph CoNI's final report clarifies that there is no concept of "mutiny" within the police forces. Also police are bound to follow the law and in the particular instance described they had accused the President of breaching the law by issuing illegal orders. Hence this cannot be described as mutiny.

    4. In the 4th paragraph, the writer himself has expressed a derogatory opinion about the judiciary by placing the word "independent" within quotes. There is no reference made to who holds this view. Therefore the writer may be in contempt of court by making this insinuation. While the quotes surrounding the word "unlawful" may be justified until a court of law declares them unlawful, this same thinking cannot be applied to the word "independent" as in this context it amounts to an allegation and if the allegation is made by this publication itself it should bear the legal consequences.

    5. In the 5th Paragraph, the word "Nasheed's" should be followed by "claim" or an equivalent word.

    6. In the 7th Paragraph, the apostrophe which follows the first use of the word Judge is a typo.

    7. In the 9th Paragraph the publication should rightly mention that the injunction delays the JSC from taking legal action against the Judge until the Civil Court delivers a verdict in the case filed by Abdulla Mohamed against the JSC.

    8. In the 15th Paragraph the first mention of the phrase "Judicial Service Commission" should be preceded by the word "the".

    9. In the 18th Paragraph the "it" that comes before the phrase "once it" should be removed.

    10. In the 19th Paragraph the writer and Minivan by extension is making the allegation that the current President is a puppet controlled by former President Qayyoom. This is a serious allegation and if Minivan does not reference this allegation to a specific person, the publication should take responsibility for the legal consequences.

    11. In the second line of the 21st Paragraph the phrase "Judicial Service" should be followed by the word "Commission".

    12. In the 22nd Paragraph the word "current" should be replaced with "currently".

    All in all, the points I have noted above indicate that this is an extremely rushed article which was published without proper editorial review and without weighing the legal consequences of certain statements made within. Also Minivan has fallen below its standards by merely repeating Velezinee's allegations throughout the entire article without contacting the accused parties for comment. This story is not balanced and amounts to promoting a biased view without a modicum of respect for journalistic ethics.

  10. I have read this book with care.

    This lady may not have no values at all! But, I would say she is an extremely strong lady, a true whistle blower who has taken up a national task, and alerted the nation of the danger and extent of injustice within the Judiciary System with courage and honour.

    She has risked her life for the sake of justice to the for the People of Maldives.

    I truly appreciate and honour President Nasheed, for selecting such a courageous person, and posting amidst such a commission as the Judiciary Commission that the country had when President Nasheed took over.

    “A judge without ethics is a judge open to influence. Such a figure on the bench obstructs justice, and taints the judiciary. These are the reasons why the Constitution links a judge’s professional qualifications with his or her moral standards,”. Very true!

    In fact, anyone without ethics and moral is open to influence.

    Madam Velezinee does not deserve anything lesser than the highest rank of honour given by the Maldives to courageous people!

    To me, she is a hero and a "Ghaazee"!

    As Speaker of the Majlis, member of the Judiciary Commission, A member of parliament, a responsible executive, an honourable husband and father, and more over a citizen of Maldives, I think it is a moral duty of Abdulla Shahid to take up Madam Velezinee's challenge in an open court, and clear himself of what is being challenged!

  11. @tsk tsk

    lol u r a real nutjob.

    In case you didnt notice,

    Para 6 - letter i is missing in the word idiot.

    para 7 - letter f is missing in f*** off

  12. Thank you Minivan for taking some of my recommendations into account.

    I still hope you would consider my remaining comments about stating personal views as fact.

    Also the "independent" within quotes still borders on contempt of court in my opinion.

    Also I would have appreciated a thank you from your publication.


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