CNI statements made confidential “to protect evidence”: President’s Office

The President’s Office has declared that statements made to the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) concerning the legality of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s controversial ascension to power have been made confidential in order to protect those who testified to the commission.

Media Secretary of Presidents Office Masood Imad told local newspaper Haveeru that the CNI had agreed to protect those who gave evidence to the commission.

According to the government, President Waheed in March issued a presidential decree declared that all materials relating to the CNI would be declared a national secret and kept from the public.

“If the statements [given to the CNI] get published in public, [those who gave evidence to the commission] may face dangers and may be threatened. It is with the recommendation of the CNI panel as well that the statements had been made confidential,” claimed Masood.

Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim told the newspaper that according to the presidential decree, the documents will be kept confidential and safely stored for a period of 25 years.

The defence minister said that the decision was made in adherence to Sections 22(b) and 22(c) of the Right to Information Regulation.

According to Section 22(b) exceptions to Right to Information include information which if released could prompt a lawsuit against the government for failing to ensure confidentiality, while Section 22(c) states that exception can also be made to withhold release of information if it would lead to difficulty for the government in obtaining similar information in the future.

According to Nazim, the president had given the defense ministry the responsibility on making the information confidential and keeping the assorted documents, audio, videos and photographs in the ministry’s custody.

“It hasn’t come to our hands as of yet. But we are working on bringing into our custody,” Nazim said.

Change in management

In late January 2012, a 22 day continuous anti-government protests led by then opposition figures and religious scholars following the controversial detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed escalated into a mutiny by certain elements within the police and the military.

By midday of February 7, 2012, then-President Nasheed had exhausted all his options to establish a chain of command within the ranks of police and military, and was left trapped inside the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) barracks surrounded by rebelling police and military forces along with an angry mob of anti-Nasheed demonstrators which had been armed by the security services.

The current Defense Minister Nazim – who was a civilian at the time – entered the barracks and gave an ultimatum to Nasheed, “resign or face the dire repercussions”, to which Nasheed conceded and resigned.

Then vice President Waheed subsequently ascended to power.

The following day, Nasheed and the MDP along with thousands of supporters took to the street in protest of the new regime change, but were met with harsh crackdown by what the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) later described as an “emotionally charged” police and military.

The national inquiry

In June 2012, following strong local and international pressure – primarily from the Commonwealth – President Waheed was forced to reformulate the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) to include representatives from the MDP and international community. The national inquiry commission included three members handpicked by Waheed, a Singaporean judge and a representative of former President Nasheed.

The commission interviewed several individuals as well as reviewed photographs, videos and other documents relating to the transfer of power which Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had alleged was a “bloodless coup d’état” that forced the first democratically elected president out of office.

Prior to the release of the commission’s findings, Nasheed’s nominee to the commission Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed resigned in protest from the commission contending that vital information concerning the power transfer was deliberately disregarded in order to achieve a certain outcome.

“I realised it was all going wrong,” Saeed said at a press conference held after his resignation.

In a letter he wrote to the commission’s co-chairs, Saeed cited concerns including the withholding of evidence, non-cooperation from crucial witnesses, non-examination of witnesses, witnesses being intimidated or obstructed, testimonies and evidence that was not reviewed, and organisation by the CNI secretariat.

The CNI went onto announce its finding in which it claimed there was neither a coup as alleged by the former ruling party MDP nor was there any substantial grounds to question the legitimacy of President Waheed’s ascension to power – much to the dismay of former President Nasheed and the MDP.

“In sum, the Commission concludes that there was no illegal coercion or intimidation nor any coup d’état. The Commission has received no evidence supporting or to substantiate these allegations. This disposes the main mandate of the Commission,” read the report. The report and the commission’s website were subsequently taken off-line.

CNI findings flawed

A subsequent legal analysis of the commission’s report on the request of the now opposition MDP by a team of high-profile Sri Lankan legal professionals – including the country’s former Attorney General – accused the commission of exceeding its mandate, selectively gathering and acting upon evidence, and failing to adequately address the fundamental issue with which it was charged: determining whether the former President resigned under duress.

“[The CNI] appears to have abdicated its duty to objectively and reasonably bring its collective mind to bear on whether or not there was duress involved in the purported resignation of President Nasheed,” concluded the detailed report.

The authors included two Sri Lankan Supreme Court attorneys – Anita Perera and Senany Dayaratne – and the former Sri Lankan Attorney General Shibly Aziz.

“The [CNI] Report offends the fundamental tenets of natural justice, transparency and good governance, including the right to see adverse material, which undermines the salutary tenets of the Rule of Law,” it claimed.

Even by the yardstick of ‘coercion’ or illegal coercion which the [CNI] has incorporated for reasons one cannot fathom – given the clear mandate – ex facie the events accepted by the “[CNI] and without anything more, does strongly and convincingly establish the ‘coercion’ or ‘illegal coercion’, the yardstick chosen by the [CNI],” the report noted, in support for the claim of an illegitimate ousting of a legitimate head of state.

Parliamentary scrutiny

A review of the CNI report by Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee – the parliamentary select-committee mandated with overseeing the government and its agencies – led to the announcement by the committee’s chair that the report was “flawed”.

The Committee Chair MP Ali Waheed told local media that many interviewed by the committee claimed it lacked “key information they had given to [the CNI panel]”.

“Some have even claimed their information was wrongly presented,” he said, while others who attended the committee [meeting] “have told us that key information they gave was missing from the CNI report, and said they did not accept its findings”.

Leaked statements

Dozens of statements given to the CNI were leaked to local media. Among the statements included those given by former President Nasheed and statements from senior officials from the military and police.

In one of the leaked statements, MNDF Staff Sergeant Shafraz Naeem – who was commanding ‘Bravo’, one of the Bandara Koshi Battalion riot squads that confronted the mutinying police – told the CNI that he had “lost faith in the institution” after the events.

“I took an oath to protect the country and the president; not to beat civilians or to mutiny. I did not take an oath to follow a mutinous general. I was never a big fan of Nasheed, but it did not matter to me who the President was that day. I would have done the same for any president,” read his statement.

“In my view this was a coup. Why? I could see it from the way they handled everything, their attitude, how cool and calm all the officers were. I could tell from how cool General Shiyam was inside the MNDF. They did nothing. This is not how a uniformed officer should behave,” he said.

Former President Nasheed’s leaked statement read – “In essence, my statement is very small. I was forced to resign. I resigned under duress. I was threatened. If I did not resign within a stipulated period it would endanger mine and my family’s life. I understood they were going to harm a number of other citizens, party members. They were going to literally sack the town. I felt that I had no other option, other than to resign.”


Budgetary constraints temporarily halt efforts to bring in foreign experts for CoNI report review

Efforts to bring in two international legal experts to review the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report have been put on hold due to budgetary constraints, local media has reported.

The parliament’s Government Accountability Committee had attempted to seek the legal experts in order to look into the report of the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.

Parliament Secretary General Ahmed Mohamed was quoted as saying that there were no funds available to the committee in order to bring in the foreign experts.

The committee had earlier chosen a legal expert from Denmark’s Copenhagen university and two lawyers to review the report, who were scheduled to start on Friday and work for seven days, local media said.

Maldivian Democratic Party MP Ali Waheed said that the committee will make a decision and set a date based on “what is decided by the Parliament Speaker on the budgetary issues”.

Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid is currently abroad and is expected to return next week, according to local media.


Nasheed resigned “not under duress”: Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Defence Minister has claimed Nasheed was not under duress when he resigned from office, local media reported.

Speaking to the Committee on Government Accountability at the People’s Majlis, Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu said that he did not believe “anyone” could have posed a threat to Nasheed’s life while he was in the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) headquarters, local media reported.

The comments were made in relation to the Committee on Government Accountability’s study into the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI).

“From the beginning till the end, Nasheed was under full protection of the security forces. When he walked to the President’s Office, he was given a timeline to announce his resignation, but such a timeline did not mean that he had to, or that he was forced to resign.

“He did not have to resign, the circumstances did not become so grave that he had no choice but to resign”, Kaleyfaanu was quoted as saying in Sun Online.

Kaleyfaanu claimed that the situation became worse on February 7 due to Nasheed’s handling of the situation. He further alleged that Nasheed had begun commanding ordinary officers of the security forces in violation of principles of command, local media reported.


Parliament committee to seek international expertise for CNI report review

Parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee is seeking international experts to help oversee a review of the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report.

Committee Chair Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ali Waheed said during a press conference yesterday (January 9) that efforts were being made to bring international experts in the fields of law and public inquiries to the Maldives for a review of the CNI report. The process is expected to take a minimum of two weeks.

The CNI report, which was released back in August 2012, looked into the circumstances surrounding the controversial transfer of power in February the same year. The report concluded that the change of government had been constitutional.

The government today dismissed the review as being politically motivated, while also rubbishing allegations that President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik had violated the constitution by not providing information from the CNI’s investigation to parliament.

Ali Waheed has claimed that the purpose of seeking international expertise was to ensure the autonomy and credibility of the parliamentary inquiry for both local and international actors. He added that parliament secretariat would make the announcement for applicants to fill the two positions at a later date.

The press conference was held right after the committee summoned the two former intelligence heads of both Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and Maldives Police Services as part of the parliamentary inquiry.

Ali Waheed was not responding to calls at the time of press. However, he was reported in local media as describing yesterday’s meeting as one of the most “extraordinary, concerning and fearful” experience in his parliamentary career.

“The information the committee got from the [intelligence heads] surprised me. New questions have come up over what took place last year,” he said. “The former intelligence heads wept at today’s committee meeting.”


When questioned about the impartiality of the committee, which has a majority representation of MDP members, Waheed claimed that the committee has previously been mostly made up of former opposition parties under the former administration.

He added that the committee at the time, under an opposition majority, had taken major decisions against the former government such as endorsing the bench of the Supreme Court during former President Nasheed’s administration.

“If the Maldivian Supreme Court is deemed legitimate, than regardless of who controls the majority of the committee, its decisions would be binding as well. This committee will do everything it can to maintain its credibility and autonomy,” he told local media. “I hope that committee members and members who give evidence to the committee will also think about that. I want this inquiry to take place transparently.”

Constitutional claims

Five members of the Executive Oversight Committee today passed a motion stating that President Waheed had disregarded Article 99 of the Constitution.

Article 99 states that the [Parliament] or any of its committees has the power to – (a) summon any person to appear before it to give evidence under oath, or to produce documents. Any person who is questioned by the [Parliament] as provided for in this Article shall answer to the best of his knowledge and ability; (b) require any person or institution to report to it; (c) receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions.

When contacted today, Media Secretary of Presidents Office Masood Imad declined to comment, stating that he “was very busy”.

He requested Minivan News to ask the committee members as to what constitutional clause President Waheed was alleged to have violated by not providing the information to parliament.

Masood said yesterday that the statements given to CNI were not in public domain and therefore it would be President Waheed who would make a decision on the matter.

“That is a property of [CNI], but now that commission has been dissolved. So now whether to make the documents available in the public domain is solely up to President Waheed to decide,” he said at the time. “The commission was formed to release a report on the findings. The report is now available, that means it will have what is mentioned in the statements.”

President’s Office Spokesperson, Ahmed ‘Topy’ Thaufeeq also dismissed the committee’s motion claiming that it was a “political” decision.

In an interview given to Channel News Maldives today, Thaufeeq said that the new government has never tried to exert undue influence over the parliament.

“President Waheed has never even once violated the constitution. He is using the powers that have been vested to him by the constitution. He has never gone beyond his jurisdiction. Yesterday, the decision was made by a committee that had the majority of opposition MDP. That is a political decision,” he was quoted as saying.

Thaufeeq went on to accuse the People’s Majlis of trying to influence the day to day running of the government.

“Government reluctance”

Executive Oversight Committee member and MDP MP Ahmed Easa responded that any information from the executive power must be given to the parliament unless it concerns the national security of the state or involves critical confidential information.

“Any document the parliament requests must be given from the government unless its concerns the national security or critical confidential information,” he said. “Even if the information concerns national security interests, there are procedures in which it can be shared. So far government has not said that those documents fit into the said criterion.”

He also claimed that there were no legitimate grounds for President Waheed to ignore the request from parliament without giving proper reasoning. According to Easa, the action “clearly violated the constitution”.

The Kendhikulhudhoo constituency MP admitted that committee would face “huge challenges” in reviewing the findings of the CNI Report without obtaining the information of which the report was based on.

“For an example, CNI has clearly mentioned that there are issues within the country’s judiciary. However, it has not gone into details. So how can we find about the mentioned issues within the judiciary without obtaining the information on which such a conclusion was based upon. We need to find out based on what information had the CNI come to such a conclusion,” he explained.

“They are crying out loud saying that the findings in the CNI report was the truth. If so what we are saying is that the truth must have been obtained from credible true information. Why are they hesitating to share that information with us?”


Dismissed human rights minister alleges “assassination” plot against former President Nasheed

Former Human Rights Minister and one time SAARC Secretary General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed has alleged certain figures behind protests leading to the controversial transfer of power on February 7 had also planned to assassinate former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The allegations from Saeed, who was recently dismissed as the government’s Human Rights Minister, were raised in a personal memoir entitled “Silent inquiry: A Personal Memoir on the issue of the Transfer of Powers on the 7th of February 2012” obtained by Minivan News.

In the document, Saeed describes the reasons for her involvement in the anti-government protests led by then opposition leaders, while also alleging that President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s government had attempted to manipulate the outcome of the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report.

Saeed has also accused President Waheed – then vice president – of taking a direct role in efforts to remove Nasheed from office in the run up to February 7.  The president has denied all allegations of his direct involvement in the transfer of power.

The CNI’s findings, welcomed by the Commonwealth, US and the UN, rejected accusations that the present government came to power illegally, despite claims from former President Nasheed that the report’s conclusions were flawed and failed to include key witness statements and evidence.

The President’s Office has today dismissed the allegations that the government had sought to manipulate the CNI report’s as “entirely baseless”, while questioning the motive and timing of the accusations raised by Saeed.

Speaking to Minivan News, Saeed claimed that she had decided to release the information because she believed that the public had a right to know about “such a crime against the state” alleged to have been committed by President Waheed and his allies.

Attempts to assassinate President Nasheed

Saeed’s memoirs recounted a conversation on the morning of February 6 with a “friend and a long-standing political associate” whom she had identified only as “X”.

During her conversation with X, Saeed wrote that the idea of “taking out” president Nasheed came up.

“I understood that to mean an impeachment motion and I knew the opposition didn’t have that kind of numbers so I asked how that was possible. He replied that according to ‘them’ there were many methods, that one of them could go in a technician’s guise, fix the air conditioning and that could do the job. Instantly, I understood that he meant a lethal gas and that he was talking about an assassination,” she wrote.

Saeed said she objected to the idea of an assassinating President Nasheed.

“He dismissed my objections and went on to say that there were people who were ready to shoot Nasheed upfront and they had, among them, the children of those who died on November 3, 1988 [Coup D’état],” she wrote.

Nonetheless, Saeed claimed that the idea of an “upfront” assassination was quickly disregarded, citing the consequences, potentially including an international criminal investigation into an assassination of a head of state.

Saeed went on to allege that should such an attack have been carried out, it would not be the first attempt on President Nasheed’s life.

She accused a group of two to three unidentified military officials in late January 2012 of visiting the then state broadcaster Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) as part of a possible plot.

“They had said the president would be appearing in the [local TV variety show] Heyanbo and would be at the studio for a recording. Then, they had measured the entire distance from the entrance, through the corridors to the studio. They had gone into the studio and drawn diagrams including the wiring above,” she claimed.

“At the time, there had been a hushed and contained talk within select MNBC 1 staff about a staff member being approached to talk about an ‘accidental’ fire from a short of the wires in the studio.  MNBC 1 was a very old building with bad wiring which even now causes problems and an ‘accidental’ fire might be regarded as natural. I was given this information from a reliable source, but I will not disclose the source for safety reasons,” she wrote.

A second plan was alleged by Saeed to have been plotted to take place in an event where the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) were to display firing of live arms at a ceremonial event.

“The firing was ceremonial and it was to happen with the Commander of the Armed Forces. That is President Nasheed, standing in a designated position. When the preparation for the ceremony was underway, a mid-ranking officer had reported that he had come to know of a plan to shoot the President ‘accidentally.’ This had resulted in an investigation,” she claimed.

However, according to her account, this was quickly dismissed by the officers in charge stating that an accidental firing was impossible because the weapon would be fixed in a particular position. Due to a conflicting schedule with an another ceremony, the MNDF ceremony took place with then Vice President Waheed as the chief guest.

Pre-planned deposing of Nasheed

Saeed suggested measures were also planned by alleged perpetrators  to guarantee then Vice President Waheed’s loyalty towards opposition forces rather than Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in power at the time.

According to Saeeds’s account, this was achieved through re-igniting the pre-existing conflicts between Waheed and the MDP by sending a group of key opposition figures to meet him.  These political figures were involved in the anti-government protests that began on January 2012 following the controversial detention by the military of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.

“[X] then told me that their first step had been to create a clash between Waheed and MDP in order to ensure that Waheed would not be able to take over MDP and that’s the reason [Progressive Party of Maldives Interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer] was sent to Waheed few nights back where after his meeting with the Vice President, he stood outside Waheed’s residence and announced to the country that Waheed was ready to take over from Nasheed. X then repeated that everything was now set for Nasheed to be ‘taken-out.’ I asked him when this taking-out would happen and he said soon,” she recalled.

Saeed alleged that it was no coincidence that February 7 was the exact date by which Nasheed had planned to declare all the courts except the Supreme Court unconstitutional by presidential decree.

“If President Nasheed had carried out that move and despite the constitutional challenges, won the move, it would disarm the old guards in the opposition who still had, to some extent, a hold on the judiciary.  That could be the reason why February 7th was decided upon – that it was the now or never moment,” she claimed.

“In addition, the ongoing civil alliance protest was a bonus in that it would provide the perfect cover,” she added.

As events unfolded, and after Nasheed officially resigned from office on February 7, Saeed said she appeared on the then opposition-aligned local broadcaster DhiTV. After her appearance, she claimed that she received an SMS by “X” asking her whether she “believed” him now.  This SMS message she said did not initially sound suspicious, therefore replied back questioning whether X was “bragging”.

“I remained there, outside the DhiTV building conscious that something very wrong had happened but I couldn’t quite grasp the reality and enormity of what had possibly taken place.  The events that had unfolded and that were manifest before our eyes had seemed spontaneous enough,” she recalled.

However, Saeed claimed that she was tormented by the events that took place, not knowing whether to believe that Nasheed left office within lawful grounds or whether something else had taken place behind the scenes.

“The politics was so bitter, so deeply divided and so polarised that if I happened to confide in the wrong person I thought what I had to say would be reported to the wrong people and covered up,” she admitted.

After a heavy-handed police crackdown on pro-Nasheed protesters following his resignation, Saeed claimed that she sent an SMS again to “X” asking what would happen next as Nasheed had gained a large support base after announcing that he was ousted in a coup.

The reply she got from X, Saeed claimed, was not to worry and that Nasheed would now have to be “finished within constitutional and legal bounds” and that “they had many tricks to play”.

“This [SMS Message] took a load off my chest. I understood it to mean that whatever stand-by plans X and his associates may have had and still had, there would be no attempt or no further attempt on President Nasheed’s life,” she wrote.

Military misconduct on February 7

Aside from the assassination allegations she has raised, Saeed also criticised the findings of the CNI report.

She noted particular concern over the report’s silence on the military officials who had joined the rebellion and the CNI’s failure to refer to the concept of mutiny in the Defence Forces Act.

In the account, Saeed also shared her information on what happened within the MNDF barracks on February 7.

“It may not be publicly known but it is known within the military that on the morning of February 7, prior to President Nasheed’s resignation, then Brigadier General Ahmed Shiyam was purportedly appointed as the Acting Chief of Defence Force,” she wrote.

She claimed that there were no legitimate grounds for Brigadier General Shiyam to be appointed as acting chief of defence force by ex-serviceman, Nazim who, “it is clear, lacked the authority to issue such an order”.

She also argued that while the defence base was on red alert, some officers had abandoned the headquarters in breach of the Defence Forces Act.

“It has also been reported that on February 7, when the MNDF was in red alert and when most of the military had been in rank and file, four senior officers, Solih Moosa of MNDF, Captain Amanullah, First Lieutenant, Adnan and Captain Riyaz (BK) had reportedly left their positions, abandoning their duties,” she wrote.

In another incident highlighted in her account, five Special Protection Group (SPG) officers – under the leadership of Staff Sergeant Rikaaz – had defied President Nasheed, openly claimed that they were following direct orders of then Vice President Waheed and attempted to take weapons that were under the control of the marines.

“Other incidents included open defiance and the use of profanities against seniors in breach of the law, protocol and military custom. It was perhaps for this reason that CNI was denied access to the footage from cameras located within the MNDF Headquarters. It would have shown manifest wrongdoing on the part of the military,” she wrote.

Saeed also maintained that information in her account were received from reliable sources placed within the military, who had also conveyed the same information to CNI.

Allegations against former Defence Minister Tholhath

Saeed’s memoir also alleged that former Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu played a pivotal role in the fall of former President Nasheed, claiming that he had breached the Defence Forces Act by exercising his powers beyond legal bounds.

“Tholhath also stands accused of bringing several changes within the structure of MNDF to facilitate this move such as reportedly giving promotion three times within three months to Major Adnan to enable him to be placed in the intelligence section,” she alleged.

She also alleged that the defence minister aggravated the already heated situation by throwing a smoke canister towards protesting police on Republican Square during a “stand-off” between the two institutions.

“The move on the defence minister’s part was outside the role of the minister prescribed by section 10 of the Military Act and it was also in breach of established protocol and rules of engagement,” she added.

Saeed further claimed that Tholhath was in “serious debt” at the time.

“Those people to whom he owed money reportedly included mid ranking military officers as well as top military personnel if indeed, Tholhath was in financial hardship and he had been partly assisted out of that hardship, there could be a motive to lie. In the light of the serious allegations involved, it is disappointing that CNI did not examine his accounts,” she claimed.

Government’s hesitance to be bound by the outcome of Commission of National Inquiry

Despite rejecting initial invitations to join President Waheed’s cabinet, Saeed claimed that she gave the administration the “benefit of doubt” and opted to join the government after Nasheed failed to prove his claim of being removed in a “coup d’etat”.  She contended that he had been given a “just and fair opportunity” to do so at the time, and that she had genuinely believed that Waheed did not know of any plans to “take out” Nasheed.

She was immediately given the task to defend the new government upon taking the position of Human Rights minister after Maldives had been placed in the formal agenda of Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).

CMAG had at the time called on the government to reconstitute the CNI after it raised serious questions on the impartiality of the initial three-member panel that included former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s defence minister.

She claims that the government had refused to accept a clause in the initial Terms of Reference (ToR) – which stated that all parties will consider the “findings of CNI report final and binding” – that the Commonwealth had proposed with its recommendations to reconstitute the CNI.

“At some point in the talks, the Attorney General Azima Shukoor whispered to me that this clause needed to be removed because if the CNI made a finding of culpability on the part of Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz and Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and recommended that action be taken against them, a final and binding clause might bar them from challenging the finding in the courts.

“In other words, the ‘final and binding’ clause was removed in order to pave way for Riyaz and Nazim, the [Waheed Government’s] Commissioner of Police and the Minister of  Defence respectively, to challenge the CNI’s finding in the event culpability is found on their part,” she wrote.

“In essence, this meant the Government had no intention to be bound by CNI’s findings – unless CNI’s findings suited the Government,” she added.

Defence Minister Nazim’s plan to harass Nasheed’s initial nominee for CNI

After adhering to the demands from the Commonwealth to reconstitute the CNI, the government offered President Nasheed the opportunity to appoint a nominee to the inquiry commission that met an eligibility criterion set out as per the government’s agreement with commonwealth.

Almost all of Nasheed’s names were rejected except that of former school Principal Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed. Prior to accepting Saeed’s name, the name of former Finance Minister Mohamed Shihab’s daughter Manaal Shihab was floated in the media as a possible nominee of Nasheed.

Saeed claimed in her memoirs that Defence Minister Nazim had urged the government to accept Manaal Shihab’s name and had planned to harass and intimidate her.

“Defence Minister Nazim said we should accept the nomination adding that he had instructed a background check. A background check was normal and legitimate but what he indicated next wasn’t either normal or legitimate. He said they would commence harassment of Manaal from the moment she is appointed to CNI. I remember bantering on to find out whether he really meant that, whether he intended to have President Nasheed’s nominee harassed,” she revealed.

However, Manaal Shihab’s name was withdrawn by the MDP, who had later proposed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed instead. The government at the time had said that even though ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, like all the other nominees proposed by President Nasheed, had not met the government’s eligibility criterion, it would accept the nomination.

However, Saeed argued that the acceptance was made amidst immense pressure from the commonwealth.

Tapping of Commissioner Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed’s phone

The memoirs allege that even though ‘Gahaa’ Saeed was not harassed, his phone was tapped and the government had been continuously listening to phone conversations, including a conversation between himself and the Commonwealth’s Special Envoy to the Maldives, Sir Don McKinnon.

“The implication that the Commissioner’s phone was tapped didn’t surprise me because the Defence Minister had previously mentioned a telephone conversation that [Sir Don McKinnon] had allegedly had with the commissioner. If my memory serves me right, he had even said they had the recording,” she wrote.

According to Saeed’s memoirs, she had previously asked Nazim whether he would or would not ‘bug’ the investigation room where CNI members took the interviews, but Nazim had at the time dismissed such ideas in vague responses.

However, on one particular day after a high level meeting to discuss on the matter of Maldives being on the formal agenda of CMAG, Saeed recalled an encounter with the Defence Minister.

“I don’t remember what exactly led to the subject of bugging. I may have asked as I had done in the past. He said that the place where CNI had conducted its inquiry was bugged, then made a sweeping gesture and said, even that very room was bugged,” she recalled.

President Waheed’s hand tainted

Saeed claimed she initially believed President Waheed had no knowledge of plans to try and ouster Nasheed prior to his resignation.  However, she said to have later discovered that Waheed too had a role in the controversial toppling of Nasheed, claiming that the President had prior knowledge of what would possibly happen in February.

In her memoir, Saeed refers to another person, identified as “Y” – described as a “trusted friend” – who had a responsibility to oversee independent institutions of the state.

According to Saeed, she had met the figure to discuss perceived inconsistencies in the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM)’s report on February 7.

“After a discussion of those issues, I told him that there was another reason which made me doubt HRCM’s conclusion. I then told him everything I had been told by X on the February 6 right down to the ‘Now you believe me?’ text I had received from ‘X’ on February 7. The only thing I didn’t tell him was X’s identity,” she wrote.

Saeed claimed “Y” also shared a secret that surprised her.

“A week before the now disputed resignation of President Nasheed, his Vice President had invited ‘Y’ to his residence for dinner. After dinner, when he was about to leave, when he was bending over to put on his shoes, the Vice President had bent over and whispered into his ears, that things would be difficult in the coming week and whether ‘Y’ would help him. ‘Y’, not suspecting that anything out of the ordinary would happen in the coming week had assured the Vice President that he would indeed help him,” she claimed.

Apart from the conversations, Saeed also alleged that “Y” was offered the vacant vice presidents position should President Waheed ascend to the presidency.

She claimed the unidentified figure had declined the offer, going on to write that “Y” would have made a formidable vice president stating that he was “highly skilled and adept at analysis” and was also “an eloquent speaker”.

Saeed claimed that it was Waheed’s “selective” announcement of findings of CNI report had “finally shattered” her faith in his integrity as president.

Saeed accused Dr Waheed of deliberately omitting the findings on police brutality during the press briefing given by the president announcing the findings of CNI,.

“I felt that it was a crime to stay silent [following the announcement]. I called my technical adviser, one of the most competent lawyers I knew and a trusted friend into my office and asked her whether she thought silence amounted to complicity and whether my silence would bar me from entering paradise on the Day of Judgement,” she wrote.

Saeed also alleged that Waheed had also deliberately ignored calls from President Nasheed during the turmoil of February 7.

“[But] he was in continuous contact with people opposing the government. In fact, he promptly answered my messages and calls on the night of February 6 and morning of February 7. He had even called top ranking military personnel and in some instances, reportedly urged and encouraged them to oppose President Nasheed. He did all that and yet, he did not initiate a call to his own president nor did he answer or return the president’s call when the president attempted to contact him twice,” she wrote.

This action, Dhiyana said was “highly significant” because as vice president Waheed had a “constitutional, legal and moral duty to assist Nasheed” and he failed to discharge those duties and had “willfully ignored those duties”.


“I weighed all this together and I could not ignore the logical conclusion – that key players had engineered and orchestrated the events, that President Nasheed had not resigned voluntarily as he asserted and that Waheed was possibly complicit. I believe further, that had President Nasheed not resigned ‘voluntarily’ that day he would have been killed in a way that would not be apparent as a killing – perhaps ‘accidentally’ in a cross-fire in the MNDF or at the hands of the enraged public in the manner of Amin Didi, the first President of the Republic,” Saeed wrote in conclusion.

She added that only an international criminal investigation that is “independent, impartial and comprehensive” can uncover the truth behind the controversial transfer of power on February 7, 2012.

Government response

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad today dismissed allegations that members of the Waheed administration has sought to cover up or manipulate the CNI’s findings, adding that authorities had no involvement in the final report’s conclusions.

Conversely, Masood said that the government was concerned at the time that the MDP had been appointed a representative on the CNI panel, claiming President Waheed and his administration had no representation or “voice” in the process.

“If I’m honest, we didn’t know what the hell [the CNI panel] would come out with in their findings,” he said.

Masood was also critical of the timing of the allegations being released.

“If [Saeed] was being honest, she would have raised these issues while she was still a serving minister,” he said.  “Why is she talking now after quitting or being dismissed from government?  This is not very professional and she should be more responsible.”


Majlis reconvenes with elections and legislative reforms atop agenda

The People’s Majlis reconvened today with both opposition and government-aligned parties claiming elections and legislative reforms were among the key focuses of their respective parliamentary agendas following an extended break.

According to the Majlis’ Counsel General Fathmath Filza, today’s opening session saw debates take place on two declarations and eight bills, including the repeal of a motion to remove the Maldives’ membership within the Commonwealth.

The session was also said by the official to include the distribution of the Commonwealth-backed Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) report to all MPs and the respective parliamentary committees dealing with security services, independent institutions and national security.

“These committees will review the report and report to the Majlis on the actions that then need to be taken,” added Filza.

Despite reconvening temporarily for an emergency session to pass the General Regulations Act in August, the Majlis has not reconvened since July after Speaker Abdulla Shahid suspended the institution, deciding a safe environment could not be ensured in the chamber after heated exchanges on the floor.

This suspension led straight into the Majlis traditional recess period, although parliamentary committees have resumed their work as of last month.

Parliamentary Speaker Shahid told Minivan News today that the recess period had provided sufficient time for tensions between leaders on both sides of the country’s political divide to “calm”.

“This has allowed for dialogue between party leaders and for me to set up agreement to have the current third parliamentary session begin on time,” he claimed. “This is important to ensure parliamentarians were part of the process to address their respective agendas.”

The speaker said that in line with a number of reports from independent institutions, the decision had been taken – in line with parliament’s minority and majority leaderships – to pass the findings of the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) onto the relevant regulatory committees.

Function undisturbed

Abdulla Yameen, Parliamentary Group Leader of the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) told Minivan News by SMS that with parliament resuming today, he expected the Majlis to function undisturbed despite ongoing tensions relating to February’s controversial power transfer.

From the perspective of the PPM, which presently holds minority leadership in the Majlis with the second largest number of MPs after the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Yameen said he believed passing pending legislation was his party’s foremost concern.

“[The PPM] hopes to see all pending legislative agenda addressed in order to ensure free and fair presidential elections,” said Yameen, who is the half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Having met personally with former President Mohamed Nasheed late last month – without providing direct details of their discussions – Yameen said there had been agreement that the Majlis should function “smoothly”.

Meanwhile, MDP MP and Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor claimed that in order to try and facilitate early elections, the party’s national council had asked for the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report to be distributed in the Majlis in attempts at having its recommendations implemented.

These recommendations, according to the MDP, include the need for reforms to strengthen the country’s independent institutions like the judiciary, as well as bringing senior defence force figures accused of mutinying against the former government to justice.

According to Ghafoor, the speaker has sent the CNI report to the relevant parliamentary committees to review recommendations made.

He claimed the request was part of a wider process to enact early elections within the Maldives – a key focus of the MDP since former President Mohamed Nasheed’s controversial resignation back in February.

Nasheed, who is presently the MDP’s presidential candidate, has continued to claim he was forced to resign under duress.

However, the party’s claims that the former government was removed from office in a “coup d’etat” were dismissed by the CNI report published in August.  The report was later accepted by the MDP, albeit “with reservations”.

These reservations were first raised by Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, former President Nasheed’s appointee on the CNI panel, who alleged there had been a failure to take into account certain key evidence and witness accounts compiled by the panel regarding the transfer of power.

The MDP has claimed that despite its reservations, the CNI report has provided the party with a “way forward” to push for institutional reform.

Just last month, the MDP’s national council had called on the party’s parliamentary group to back a boycott of the Majlis over allegations that working within the present political process was failing to secure reforms highlighted in the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report.

The proposed boycott was criticised strongly at the time by parties serving within the coalition government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.


MDP gears up for “direct action” protest as Gahaa Saeed resigns from CNI

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s nominee to the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI), Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, has resigned after questioning the integrity and purpose of the commission.

In a brief statement to media around 6.30pm today (August 29), Saeed explained that he chose to resign in protest of CNI’s final report excluding testimony from key witnesses as well as photo, audio and video evidence.

Saeed said he had believed the commission would “find out the truth” after considering all the evidence.

“I thought that the commission would also include as recommendations measures that can be taken to ensure that such a unique coup cannot be brought about again in the Maldives,” he said. “And that [the report] would identify those who committed criminal acts and make a decision on taking action against them after consideration.”

“Up until today, I worked to achieve this. However when none of these purposes can be fulfilled, I don’t believe there is any use of remaining as a member of the commission. And since this is a task I undertook with no pay as a national service, and because I do not want to be involved in something that will not cool the passions of the people, I have resigned as a member of CoNI moments ago,” Saeed said.

Pressed by reporters, Saeed declined to comment further or reveal the conclusions of the report, saying he would speak once it was made public tomorrow.

Speaking at Usfasgandu at 5:00pm today, where supporters of the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have begun gathering, Nasheed called on the public to take to the steet and “topple the government tonight” as there was “no other choice but direct action.”

Nasheed explained that he advocated against overthrowing the government through street protests because he believed an independent and impartial investigation would lead to an early election.

Nasheed said the CNI report could not “deny what I experienced and saw with my own eyes” on February 7, when he resigned after elements of police and the army mutinied at the Republic Square.

“I am ready to face any traitor police or army officer that confronts me,” Nasheed said. “And I urge all of you to do the same, confront them and change this country’s government tonight.”

The former president has also reiterated his calls for “national police and military officers” to “come out and change this country’s government from the street.”

Nasheed argued that by concluding that the transfer of power on February 7 was neither a coup d’etat nor the result of unlawful activities, the CNI was legitimising overthrowing the government and he was “ready to change the government the same way tonight.”

Minivan News will be bringing live updates of the situation as it develops.

LIVE UPDATES – refresh this page:

7:45pm – Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has told Minivan News that he does not expect “responsible leaders to encourage violence in country”.

“It it time for those active in politics to advise others to be calm,” he said.

“In a small country like ours, we do not want violence like in other parts of the world. Law enforcement will deal with demonstrations in a responsible manner in line with human rights and the constitution.”

7:54pm – Amidst increased tensions in the capital this evening, the Maldives Police Service has said it will be continuing to operate “random searches” on the capital’s street and its surrounding waters.  The claims were made as authorities today warned the public against creating “unrest” or gathering near areas where violent clashes were taking place.

Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News this evening that the searches carried out today formed part of a special operation launched earlier this week.

At time of press, Haneef confirmed that two vessels had been searched by officers. The vessels were later cleared to proceed to their respective destinations.

As of midday, official police figures claimed searches had been conducted in 17 different locations over a 24 hour period on 99 people. As part of this focus, 188 people have been questioned, 258 vehicles have undergone checks, while eight people have been taken into custody, police confirmed.

Haneef said that he did not have further updates on these figures at time of press. However, he added that figures would be available on the Maldives Police Service website as they were compiled.

7:56pm – Police Superintendent Abdullah Nawaz has been quoted in local media today as having said that any protests conducted following the release of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report will be “broken up without warning, if violence breaks out.”

Sun Online reported that Nawaz had said peaceful protests would be allowed as written in the national constitution, though protesters would not be able to obstruct police in their duties or break through barricades.

“We have received information of plans to create violence following the CNI’s report, especially in Male’. We urge the public to refrain from such activities, and would like to inform that such activities will not be tolerated by the Maldives Police Service,” he was quoted as saying.

8:09pm – The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and the Elections Commission (EC) have both today released statements calling for peaceful reconciliation following the scheduled publication of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI).

The statement issued by HRCM has stressed the importance of citizens respecting each others’ human rights, while also emphasising the need to solve issues through discussions and to not allow unrest to take place in any form.

Meanwhile, the EC has called on all political leaders to refrain from any actions that might incite any form of unrest in the country.

Local NGO Transparency Maldives has also released a press statement calling on all stakeholders to ensure that the CNI is allowed to work with full independence.

While calling on state institutions to maintain integrity and public trust, the NGO has also asks all stakeholders involved in the current political process to “show restraint” and calm so that the political situation does not further deteriorate.

8:22pm – MDP MP and Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor has told Minivan News that opposition demonstrations have started at 8:00pm this evening at the Usfasgandu area in Male’.  The demonstration is expected to include a march around the capital.

“The message is simple. We are appealing to security forces to remove the coup-government, the Defence Minister and the Commissioner of Police,” Ghafoor added.

When asked if former President Nasheed would lead the march, Ghafoor replied; “He has been on national radio this evening and told his supporters ‘If you are ready, I am ready’.”

9:22pm – The government has claimed that UN and Commonwealth observers placed on the CNI have today told President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan that there had been “no issues” with the work of the commission, according to local Media.

Newspaper Haveeru quoted President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza as saying that international observers had said the commission was of “internationally accepted” standards as its work was concluded.

The report added that President Waheed had been thanked for the support provided to the CNI investigation. Abbas contended that the observers noted that similar investigations were “seldom” as supported by governments in other parts of the world, reported Haveeru.

Both Abbas and President’s Office Media Secretary Masood were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

9:50pm – Former President Nasheed is presently addressing a large number of MDP supporters as the party’s march around the capital is halted by a military roadblock near to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) base on Boduthakurufaanu Magu, reports Minivan News’ Daniel Bosley.

10:03pm – Minivan News has observed both police and military officers officers gathered in front of protesters.  “Police officers wearing gas masks are lining up in front of the recently arrived soldiers,”  Daniel Bosley observed.

10:16pm – Protesters are witnessed becoming increasingly animated and jeering police. Some officers are seen chanting back in response, Minivan News observes.

10:20pm – Violent clashes have started with protesters hitting out at the shields of military officers.

10:28pm – Minivan News’ Daniel Bosley observes security forces with boxes marked ‘tear smoke munitions’.  Military officers are meanwhile holding their lines.

10:34pm – An estimated 300 to 400 people remain at the front lines of the protests.

10:40pm – Police have told crowds that the protests will be dispersed without any further warning, Minivan News observes.

10:52pm – A large number of protesters are observed making their way back to Usfasgandu area, observes Daniel Bosley.  Police are moving back down Boduthakurufaanu Magu in similar direction behind demonstrators.

11:07pm – A large number of protesters have now returned to Usfasgandu area.

11:23pm – Police have confirmed an arrest has been made of an individual accused of trying to force their way through police barricades.

11:55pm – Around 10:45pm, Minivan News observed a man emerge from the front line of the protest near the Maafanu stadium holding his head. A photo from the MDP youth group ‘Yellow Force’ later surfaced on social media.

After protesters turned back to head toward Usfasgandu, Minivan News also observed Special Operations (SO) officers with their faces covered with balaclavas, marching behind the MDP supporters and singing “for the sacred religion of Islam and the nation.”

Clashes occurred between protesters and the SO police near the petrol shed. Minivan News observed a man taken into custody behind the patrol shed where police and MNDF vehicles were parked.

An elderly man holding an MDP flag was also taken into custody near Usfasgadu.

12:00am – Speaking at the Usfasgadu rally, MDP MP Imthiyaz Fahmy ‘Inthi’ says the party will submit evidence to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which will consider the CNI report.

Former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed meanwhile tweeted earlier in the day: “Without Saeed’s consent, CONI report is not worth the paper it is written on! CMAG will reject it!”

12:18am – MDP rally closes with a speech by MP Mohamed Nazim. The party plans to hold a large gathering tomorrow to coincide with the release of the CNI report.


President Nasheed’s representative to CNI alleges February 7 draft report missed several facts

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s representative on the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI), Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, has today expressed deep concern over the draft report compiled by investigation’s co-chair, retired Singaporean Judge G P Selvam.

In a brief statement provided to media today outside Muleeaage, Saeed said that the draft report produced by Selvam “somewhat refutes or denies what we Maldivians saw and experienced” on February 7.  Former President Nasheed resigned during the day under what he later claimed was “duress” after elements of police and the army mutinied at Republic Square.

“I accepted membership of the Commission of National Inquiry with the weight of responsibility of carrying the hopes of you, the Maldivian people. The Maldivian people saw the first democratic government formed under the constitution adopted in 2008 as a good reform – a golden opportunity to revise the constitution and establish a democratic system and rule of the people. [The people] saw it as an opportunity to move away from the culture of arresting and banishing previous rulers and establishing a culture of changing governments through the vote and not through coup d’etats,” Saeed said today.

“February 7, 2012 was a day that shocked Maldivians – a day when the Maldivian government was changed in a sudden confusion. Now, however, the report that Judge Selvam has drafted and brought is a draft that somewhat refutes or denies what we Maldivians saw and experienced – or a draft that somewhat confuses things, the way it is now.

“While this is happening, for me to stay here, at Muleeage, would I believe be a betrayal of my country and the Maldivian people. I see the draft report as having been written without considering the witness testimony of many, many people to CoNI as well as the many scenes we saw.”

Saeed added that he would continue to work to “include my concerns” in the final report. He was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press regarding his comments.

Following Saeed’s statement, the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) convened an emergency meeting of the party’s National Council.

A resolution proposed by former minister Mohamed Shihab and seconded by MP Mariya Ahmed Didi expressing concern in line with Saeed’s views on the draft report was adopted with unanimous consent.

Speaking to Minivan News, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said that the information in the current “domestic draft” report was not acceptable.

“What [Saeed] is saying is that they have omitted several details that they found from the investigations, so he is asking to make the report accurate in reflecting this,” he explained.

However, he observed there was room for the CNI’s findings to still find consensus before its public release on Thursday (August 30).

“The CNI report should be something that all its members have to agree upon so without MDP’s word, the report would not be authentic,” Ghafoor said.

“There is a draft out there that appears to conclude that there was no police mutiny [on February 7], this is just not acceptable given what the public saw,” he claimed.

President’s Office spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza and Media secretary Masood Imad were not responding to calls by Minivan News at the time of press.

The first three-member CNI was appointed by President Mohamed Waheed, following a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation on February 7. Both Nasheed and the MDP allege that his resignation was made under “duress” and was therefore a “coup d’état”.

Facing pressure from the Commonwealth and civil society NGOs, the government eventually agreed to reform the commission to include a retired Singaporean judge and a representative for Nasheed.

Nasheed’s representative, Saeed, who was formerly both Principal of ‘Ahmadiyya School’ and Deputy Principal of the British College of Sri Lanka was finally accepted after the government of President Waheed rejected almost 11 names Nasheed proposed to the commission.

The original members of the CNI subsequently released a ‘timeline’ into events that took place from January 16 to February 7.

The MDP accused the commission of trying to prejudice the work of the new commission, and then released its own version of events in response – the ‘Ameen- Aslam’ report based on interviews with the security services. The government described the publication of this report as a “terrorist act”.

An audio clip of Saeed’s statement


“Difficulties in getting phone call recordings”: Commission of National Inquiry

In a press conference held this morning, members of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) stated they have been having experiencing difficulties in getting the phone call recordings from the Telecommunications Authority (TAM).

However, the members said that the TAM had provided them with the telephone call logs.

“We are having difficulties in getting the phone call recordings. [TAM] does not see the importance of having a [regulation to release call recordings]. Apparently they can’t forward us the call recordings,” Dr Ibrahim Yasir said.

He further said that the CNI has been discussing with TAM on how they could share the recordings.

Speaking in the press conference, co-chair G P Selvam, a retired Singaporian Judge, stated that he was “trying to release a report that all members of the commission agrees to” but said that it was not “something he can promise”.

He also added that CNI will complete its investigation and send its report to the authorities on August 29, but the report would be publicly released on August 30.

Selvam stated that the press conference was the Commission’s final press conference before the release of its findings. It would not state against whom the state should press charges – this was for the Prosecutor General (PG) to decide, he said.

“This is not a criminal investigation, and we don’t have the authority to call on the PG to press charges against specific people,” he said.

Asked if the report would be released in a fashion that would ease the ongoing political tensions, Selvam said the CNI did not need to see what was going on in the current political situation, as its only focus was to see whether the former President Nasheed was toppled illegitimately or not.

“We will not release a timeline, we will release a full report, and the CNI will not consider what may happen after the report is released,” Selvam said.

“We do not want to omit any names, but it may be we will not be able to include all 260 individuals who were interviewed. We will not keep from disclosing any information with the excuse of national interest,” he added.

Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef in the press conference stated that they would release one report, and that there would not be a separate report for the authorities.

He further stated that the commission has already interviewed 269 people, and only 16 people remains to be interviewed.

The members also highlighted that two institutions had not cooperated with the inquiry, but said that in general most institutions were very supportive.

They also highlighted that the commission had received reports published by others, including the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s report on the transfer of power written by two former ministers, Ameen Faisal and Mohamed Aslam.

During the press briefing, the members of the CNI announced that Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Major General Ahmed Shiyam had shared his bank statement with the commission.

Shiyam had told the CNI that he had no objection to revealing his account details to the public, and therefore Selvam said that the CNI report would include an attached copy of his bank statement.

“Major General Shiyam has told us that he has no objection to revealing the details of his bank accounts to the public,” Selvam said.

He further added that there were several other notable figures who had agreed to share their bank statements with the commission, but did not reveal their names.

CNI deadline August 29

Initially, the commission was mandated to release its findings on July 31, but CNI members stated that their final report will be delayed, after hundreds of people have come forward offering new information.

CNI Co-chair Selvam at the time said that the new date for the report’s completion would be the end of August, which would be discussed with the government. The original deadline was July 31.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s member on the Commission, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, said at the time that 244 people had registered to provide information to the commission following the reforming of the CNI.

“There has been a lot of interest. We will speak to each and every single one,” he said.

The new names joined the 87 spoken to by the government’s original three member panel, taking the total number of contributors to 331.

“That’s one contributor for every 1000 of population,” Saeed remarked.

Following the remarks by the commission, President Mohamed Waheed Hassan extended the deadline by which the CNI must conclude its report into February’s transfer of power by August 30, 2012.

President’s Office confirmed yesterday that Dr Waheed had issued a decree approving the extension of the report’s deadline.  Once complete, the findings are to be submitted to President Waheed, Parliamentary Speaker Abdulla Shahid and the prosecutor general and attorney general.

The first three-member CNI was appointed by President Mohamed Waheed, following a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation, in what he and his party have described as a coup d’état.

Facing pressure from the Commonwealth and civil society NGOs, the government eventually agreed to reform the commission to include a retired Singaporean judge and a representative for Nasheed.

The former CNI subsequently released a ‘timeline’ into events that took place from January 16 to February 7. The MDP accused the commission of trying to prejudice the work of new commission, and then released its own version of events in response – the ‘Ameen- Aslam’ report based on interviews with the security services. The government described the publication of this report as a “terrorist act”.