Ousted President Mohamed Nasheed has last night responded to allegations levied against him by pro-government political figures, during a rally held at the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest camp ‘Usfasgandu’.
Speaking during the rally, Nasheed said that he was willing to give evidence to a parliament inquiry regarding every detail about his three year tenure as president.
While speaking in support of Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid’s decision to allow the summoning of former presidents and leaders of political parties to parliament, Nasheed dared his predecessor Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as whether he had “the guts” to appear and reveal details of his own 30 year rule.
“I just want to clarify with the leaders of these political parties: are they ready to reveal the details of their bank accounts to the parliament?” Nasheed challenged.
“I want to clarify with Maumoon Abdul Gayoom whether he was willing to share with parliament about how much knew of the incidents that took place in the country’s prisons during his 30 year regime. Did he order the shooting of inmates in Gaamaadhoo Jail?” he asked.
Nasheed said he wants to know whether Gayoom was willing to clear doubts about whether prisoner Evan Naseem was “shot dead or not” to the people of the country.
He further said that he would ask the parliament whether they would clarify to the people about how the leaders of the political parties gained funding and how they were spending it.
Nasheed said that he was ready to provide every detail of how he ran the country for three years despite the numerous challenges and obstructions from then opposition parties.
He contended that during his tenure as president, he had never ordered anyone tortured and that he had never embezzled public funds.
“I am prepared to provide every detail of my bank account from the day I opened it up until today, to the People’s Majlis [parliament]. I am even willing to cooperate with the Majlis for them to check whether I had a foreign bank account or whether there is any information regarding such, anywhere in the world,” he said.
He added people did not want to hand over the nation’s top office to political leaders who had misappropriated public funds and tortured them in the process, and that it was a duty of the parliament to investigate such allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
“I also do hope that they would share all the details of their oil businesses, their resort businesses, all those ‘Bonaqua’ bottles, details of all those leaked videos of theirs, and as well as all the information with the police to the parliament,” he said.
‘Bonaqua’ was a reference to current Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, who appeared in a video broadcast by MDP-aligned Raajje TV, holding a water bottle and talking to a woman. The station alleged the footage amounted to a “sex scandal”, and claimed it could not release further footage in the interest of public decency.
Nasheed called his supporters on the islands to come to the capital the day he is summoned to parliament for questioning, claiming that people had the right to know what had been going on.
On June 28, Jumhoree Party (JP) Deputy Leader MP Abdullah Jabir proposed and passed a resolution assembling a temporary committee to investigate the alleged illegal actions of Nasheed.
The motion to form a seven man committee was passed before the session was halted after vehement protests from the MDP parliamentary caucus.
However, yesterday the seven member parliamentary committee was assembled including just one member from the MDP parliamentary group.
The seven member committee includes MP Ali Waheed from MDP, MP Ibrahim Mutthalib from Adaalath Party (AP), Independent MP Ibrahim Riza, MP Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik from Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), MP Riyaz Rasheed from Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), and MP Moosa Zameer from People’s Alliance (PA) as well as Jabir himself, who intends to contest the chairmanship of the committee.
“It is important to understand these activities. If we find he has acted against the constitution, parliament will decide on the process that should be taken after that,” he explained at the time.
Arresting of judge
Speaking at the rally, Nasheed highlighted the decision he made to arrest the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Judge Abdulla Mohamed, stating that he had “every reason” to arrest him.
Nasheed said he had ordered the MNDF to make the arrest after Home Minister Ahmed Afeef and then Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh had said that the judge posed a threat to the national security.
He also added that he had several other “legitimate reasons” to arrest the judge, and that he had realised the “depth of information I received from the police and the military and from several citizens”, and that he was willing to “provide this information [about the judge] to the parliament.”
He further said that the reason for an illegitimate ‘coup’ government to take over the country and the incitement of hatred amongst the people as well as failing of the country’s legal and constitutional system, was
The former opposition had incited hatred – including religious accusations – among the population, benefited from the failure of the country’s legal and constitutional system, and ultimately taken over the government in a bid to protect a judge who posed a threat to the national security and the criminal justice system of the country, he said. Police and MNDF had failed to find a solution to the judge, he added.
Earlier, regarding the charges against Nasheed, Deputy Leader of PPM, Umar Naseer expressed his confidence that the Prosecutor General’s (PG) investigation into charges against former President Mohamed Nasheed would see his imprisonment before the scheduled elections in July 2013.
“We will make sure that the Maldivian state does this. We will not let him go; the leader who unlawfully ordered the police and military to kidnap a judge and detain him for 22 days will be brought to justice,” said Naseer, according to local newspaper Haveeru.
Naseer went on to say that after the investigations of the police and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM), the pressure was now on the PG to prosecute Nasheed.
“[The PG] is an independent person. I hope he will prosecute this case. He has said that he will. I have no doubt that he will,” Naseer said.
Current Home Minister Mohamed Jameel – also the Justice Minister under Gayoom’s government – spoken in similar fashion, telling local media that he was confident “Nasheed will be imprisoned for a very long period.”
Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by the MNDF on the evening of Monday, January 16, in compliance with a police request. The judge’s whereabouts were not revealed until January 18.
However, later the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) revealed that the judge was under their supervision at Girifushi in Kaafu Atoll (an MNDF training facility).
Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muizz later joined the High Court and Supreme Court in condemning the MNDF’s role in the arrest, requesting that the judge be released.
According to Muizz, police are required to go through the PG’s Office to obtain an arrest warrant from the High Court.
“They haven’t followed the procedures, and the authorities are in breach of law. They could be charged with contempt of the courts,” he said at the time.
After the arrest, violent protests erupted as then opposition parties led by the PPM of former President Gayoom took to the streets in the name of “upholding the constitution”.
The 22 day long protest ended after the toppling Nasheed’s government and the releasing Judge Abdulla, after several police and the MNDF officers stood up against his administration and joined forces with the protesters on February 7.
The MDP maintained that Nasheed was forced out of office in what they described as a coup d’état.
PPM’s Spokesperson MP Ahmed Nihan had not responded at time of press.