The Civil Court of the Maldives yesterday issued a statement calling on the country to refrain from any acts that would smear the respect and dignity of the court, and lead to a loss of public confidence in the judicial system.
The Civil Court’s statement followed a court hearing conducted in the Criminal Justice Court regarding the arrest and detention of People’s Alliance party (PA) Deputy Leader and MP Ahmed Nazim, and ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa, after the pair were summoned to court on charges of bribing a Civil Court judge and MPs.
Police lawyers in the Crminal Justice Court claimed that both the MPs colluded to bribe a Civil Court judge with US$6000 and a two way air ticket for a trip abroad, and had influenced cases in the Civil Court filed against them.
“After a case is investigated, the deserved sentence shall be passed on judges of this court just like any other citizen, without exemption,” said the statement. “Disclosing information of a case to the media before the investigation is concluded would create doubt and be an irresponsible act.”
The court said that publicising information about a case relating to a judge before it was proven in court, whether it was leaked through an individual, could potentially be considered an attempt to destroy public confidence in the judiciary.
“A large number of cases related to civil rights and various interests are presented to the Civil Court,” the statement said. “Cases that Civil Court judges work on are those related to individuals and cases related to national interest.”
MPs Nazim and MP Musthafa were released by the Criminal Court despite a police requesting and extension of their custody while the investigation was conducted. Police did not mention the name of the Civil Court judge whom they alleged had been bribed.