The Maldives Police Services has begun investigating the leaked audio clips of suspected telephone call conversations believed to be the voices of Independent MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, People’s Alliance party (PA) leader and MP Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Jumhoory Party (JP) leader and MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim, confirmed Press Secretary for the President, Mohamed Zuhair.
On July 4, three recordings of discussions between MPs referring to other MPs and officials, including a plan to cease work on the tax bill in the parliament, appeared on the internet and scandalised the Maldivian media.
Zuhair said he met with police officers this morning and that police informed him the investigation was progressing.
“The audio clips also raise issues of threats against the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),” Zuhair added.
A corruption case presented to parliament against former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem was instrumental in ousting the AG in vote of no-confidence, days after he publicly demanded a financial audit of all current and former ministers.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that police received the audio clips through the media and that they would be analysed and investigated.
“Police do not record the telephone conversations of people,” he claimed, but declined to provide further information.
Aishath Azima Shukoor, former Attorney General and a member of the legal team defending the detained MPs, noted that article 24 of the constitution promised “respect to personal communications” and that recording a personal telephone call was “unlawful according to the constitution, and that any evidence collected unlawfully cannot be presented to court as an evidence.”
“The audio clips would be inadmissible,” said Shukoor. “I do not believe that media can broadcast the audio clips either.”
Groups of pro-government demonstrators have been playing the clips through loudspeakers outside the court proceedings.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan recently told Minivan News that there was an MNDF officer who’s duty was to operate a telephone call recording machine.
“He records our telephone calls and handles it to (former) Defence minister Ameen Faisal,” said Nihan.
Dr Hassan Saeed, who is also a former Attorney General and member of the opposition leaders legal team, said he was busy and unable to comment to Minivan News at time of press.