The High Court yesterday (27 August) concluded a case appealed by former Civil Court Judge Mohamed Hilmy and his wife Aiminath Ali after the Criminal Court ruled that they were guilty of having sex in public.
On December 21, 2011, the Criminal Court ruled that the pair were guilty as charged and sentenced them to six months banishment and 15 lashes.
Hilmy had argued that his arrest was part of a police set-up.
The High Court ruling stated that, according to the statements provided by the police officers that attended the scene, they first saw a motorbike parked on the road near the beach area and, discretely approaching the beach, saw the pair sitting on the shadowy beach with their pants down.
According to the police officers the shadows of the pair were visible each time the Hulhule’ tower light passed them and as they walked closer they noticed that Aiminath Ali had her pants down to her feet, Hilmy’s trousers were down to his knees, and Aiminath was sitting on Hilmy’s lap.
When the police officers approached within six feet and turned the searchlights on the pair, Aiminath Ali got up and moved quickly to put up her pants but one of the police officers ran and held her hand. Police said she tried to pull her pants up using her other hand but another officer came and handcuffed her.
According to the police officers Hilmy got up and started running but he was also stopped and handcuffed.
The officers reported back to their superior in Hulhumale’ police station – Sub-Inspector Muthaba Abdulsattar – and he instructed the officers to take pictures of the couple as they were.
Hilmy, who has heard high-profile cases including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s request for an injunction against the Presidential Commission, and the Herathera Resort dispute, was suspended from the bench soon after his arrest.
Shahinda Ismail, then President of the Police Integrity Commission, confirmed to Minivan News at the time that a complaint was filed by the Judges Association (JA) and the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), alleging that the judge was arrested through a police set up regarding an issue that had arisen as a result of his work in the courts.
“In their letter, the JSC said the JA are saying that he has complained to them, that he was walking in with his fiancé and police came and handcuffed both of them and basically undressed them by force,” she said.
The police denied the accusations at the time in a public statement.
“The two had to be taken into custody on suspicion of sexual behaviour in a public place as they were at the garbage dump in the south of Hulhumale’ with their pants down,” police said.