A well-known activist of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Hussein Ilham of Happy Side in Galolhu, and his brother Abdulla Irushad, have been sentenced for contempt of court by Judge Aisha Shujoon Mohamed.
Ilham was sentenced for three months while his brother received one month under Article 88(a) of the Penal Code for disrespecting the court.
The judge said that Hussein Ilham and Abdulla Irushad disrespected the court during an ongoing case involving real estate, and that there were people who had entered the court without being presented.
The verdict does not mention whether they both interrupted or if they were presented to the court.
Chairperson for MDP Mariya Ahmed Didi did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.
Vice president of opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Umar Naseer said that he was not surprised to hear that an MDP activist was sentenced.
”I am surprised to hear that they have been free all this time,” Umar said.
He said the judicial system was a very independent system and claimed ”MDP is trying to hijack it.”
He also accused all MDP members of”drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.”
Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said he was sorry to hear the news, but said he did not believe that it would bring the party’s reputation into disrepute.
”The judiciary system needs to be reformed,” he said, ”it needs more qualified and disciplined judges.”
Lawyer Imthiyaz Fahmy, also an MP for the Maldivian Democratic Party, has been found in contempt of court and suspended for six months by Senior Judge at the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.
Fahmy was defending a man who had been accused of throwing an egg at a DRP supporter in their campaign office next to the former president’s wife’s house Enderimaagu.
Fahmy says before he began with the case, he noticed the defendant’s name was misspelled and his address was not on the charge document.
“The charge document should say who it’s against,” he said.
Fahmy said that due to procedural methods, he felt he needed to correct the matter before beginning the case, and asked the judge if this mistake could be rectified.
“The judge was taken by surprise,” said Fahmy, “and asked the prosecutor to correct the document in court. This is not how a criminal case is conducted.”
Judge Mohamed said Fahmy “did not cooperate with the court” and “just wanted to play.” He added that Fahmy “was not being serious” and was “arguing” with him and the attorney.
Fahmy said he was then asked to leave the courtroom by Judge Mohamed, while his client was told to remain there. Fahmy claims his client later told him that he had been asked to give his statement before another judge in his absence.
The next day, Fahmy found out through the media that he had been suspended.
“I wasn’t even informed,” he said. “I went to the court for the document on my suspension, but was denied [the document].”
Judge Mohamed says Fahmy cannot attend the court on the same case again.
Fahmy said he was “not surprised by the judge’s misconduct in court,” and he intends to make an appeal against Judge Mohamed’s decision to the High Court and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The commission confirmed that Judge Mohamed is currently under investigation for issues relating to conduct.
The case Fahmy would have been defending has been dismissed.