Police investigating MDP MP Sameer for “creating public mistrust” towards the Supreme Court

The Maldives Police Service are investigating MDP MP Ahmed Sameer over allegations of creating public mistrust towards the Supreme Court.

Sameer is Vice Chair of parliament’s Independent Commissions Oversight Committee, responsible for oversight of the judicial watchdog, among others.

The case was filed by the Department of Judicial Administration on September 12, with reference to an interview Sameer had given to local newspaper Haveeru.

The interview, published on 6 September, focused on the Supreme Court ruling against Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding the border control system, and the ensuing statement by ACC.

In the interview, Sameer is quoted as saying, “I am concerned that the Supreme Court has not considered the ACC’s mandate, it’s future and it’s objective. The Supreme Court will need to take responsibility for the all barriers to stopping corruption caused by this ruling.

“The commission has now been made a toothless lion. That isn’t right. The ACC must have the authority to obtain court orders. It won’t be easy to do this through the PG everytime,” he continued.

Sameer had further described the court ruling as having a personal prejudice behind it. He said, “I see it as a personal decision. This is because at a time when ACC is investigating corruption allegations against the Supreme Court itself, the court has made a ruling which takes away the ACC’s powers.”

Haveeru Deputy Editor, Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, was summoned to police offices on Monday. He was asked for confirmation as to whether the quotes attributed to Sameer in the article were actually said by him.

Police Media Official Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef has said that the investigation is ongoing. He confirmed that Sameer had not yet been summoned for questioning.

Department of Judicial Administration has earlier filed a case against MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, who is now to appear in court for having ‘opened his own court’ last year.

MP Ahmed Sameer’s phone was switched off at the time of press. Local media has reported that he is out of the country.


MDP calls for suspension of February 8 cases until coup investigation is complete

MP of the ousted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Ahmed Sameer has called on the Prosecutor General (PG) to suspend criminal charges against those arrested during the February 8 unrest, until an independent inquiry investigated police involvement in the transfer of power the previous day.

In a letter to PG Ahmed Muizz, Sameer raised questions over the police’s ability to conduct independent and impartial investigations into public criminal offenses, alleging elements of the police and military staged a coup d’état to depose President Mohamed Nasheed and were continuing to target and attack MDP MPs and members.

“Whilst atrocities committed by the police remain uninvestigated, any investigation by police cannot be accurate. Hence, if the PG files these charges at court, can the PG be independent and impartial as guaranteed in Article 220 (a) of the constitution?” Sameer said.

Speaking to Minivan News, Sameer said he had met with the PG on Monday and that the PG was receptive to Sameer’s concerns.

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza has accused the MDP of terrorism and said, “The government will not negotiate in releasing those arrested and charged for terrorism, will not let them be considered political prisoners.”

However, Deputy PG Hussein Shameem said no terrorism charges have been filed to date.

“We have submitted 116 cases to the criminal court. The charges we have filed regard obstruction of police duty, assault on police officers on duty, and attempt to assault police officers on duty,” Shameem said. If charges are proved, the accused may be jailed for six months or fined up to Rf 12,000 (US$800).

According to Shameem, police had initially filed 135 cases with the PG relating to the February 8 unrest; these include 42 cases from Haa Alif Atoll Kulhudhufushi, 12 from Shaviyani Atoll Milandhoo, 41 from Fuamulah Island, 24 from Haa Alif Ihavandhoo, 11 from Haa Dhaal Atoll Dhidhoo, and five cases from Haa Alif Atoll Hoarafushi.

Sameer said the eight people from his constituency of Dhidhoo charged with vandalism and closing of the Dhidhoo police station faced false charges.

He said the police had closed the station voluntarily, after the MDP controlled Dhidhoo council raised concerns of possible harm to police if the police continued to stay on duty on the day.

Although Sameer has called for suspension of prosecution until an inquiry, the possibility of an independent investigation now appears remote. The presidential commission charged with looking into the legality and legitimacy of the transfer of power has said it will not conduct a criminal investigation, and has also come under fire from MDP and civil society groups for unilateralism and lack of independence.

At the same time, the state’s independent institutions have also said investigation into the legality and legitimacy of the transfer of power is not within their mandates.

The EU, Commonwealth, MDP and local civil society groups have called for independent and impartial investigation into the alleged coup, with the involvement of international experts.


MP Sameer takes MDP parliamentary group leader role: Haveeru

MP Ahmed Sameer will succeed ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik as the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) parliamentary group leader, according to local media reports.

Haveeru has said that Sameer, who serves as the MP for Dhidhoo, Haa Alifu Atoll, was appointed to the position yesterday, despite earlier reports that an election was to be held for the post on Wednesday June 22.

The position of MDP parliamentary group leader was left vacant after Moosa Manik was appointed to serve as the party’s acting chairperson during a national council meeting held at Bandos Island Resort over the weekend.

A spokesperson for the MDP was unavailable for comment on the news of Sameer’s appointment at the time of going to press.