Judge Abdulla suspected of involvement in “contract killing,” says Nasheed

Police suspected Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed’s involvement in a “contract killing” after he released a murder suspect, alleges the closing statement prepared by former President Mohamed Nasheed for his trial on terrorism charges.

The office of the former president released the statement (Dhivehi) yesterday, noting that Nasheed was unable to complete it ahead of the final hearing on Friday (March 13), where he was found guilty of ordering the arrest of Judge Abdulla in January 2012 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Nasheed stated that he had been “continuously receiving complaints” regarding the chief judge from both his home minister and the commissioner of police.

“The latest incident I was informed of was a very tragic incident. It was reported that after Judge Abdulla released a murder suspect from detention, claiming the hospital had not submitted a document related to the case, the man went on to commit another murder,” Nasheed stated.

“Both the police and home minister characterised the incident as a direct contract killing.”

Nasheed alleged that the role assigned for Judge Abdulla under the contract was releasing the murder suspect.

“While other murder suspects are kept in detention until the conclusion of trial, the police institution believed the suspect in this case was released for that purpose and informed me thus,” the statement added.

“Contract killing”

The alleged “contract killing” Nasheed referred to involved Ibrahim Shahum Adam, who was released by Judge Abdulla on February 17, 2011 to “hold the health minister accountable” for the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital’s failure to provide a medical report to the police.

Shahum was brought before the judge for extension of remand detention.

Following his release in February 2011, Shahum allegedly stabbed 21-year-old Ahusan Basheer to death on March 16. Police launched a manhunt the following day and took him into custody from an uninhabited island.

Shahum had been arrested in August 2010 for the murder of 17-year-old Mohamed Hussain in Malé. In March 2013, he was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In October last year, Shahum escaped from Maafushi jail along with another convict and was apprehended from a guesthouse in Malé six days later.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) advised MPs to stay in at night following the jailbreak.

The following month, the Criminal Court found Shahum not guilty of murdering Ahusan Basheer.

Delivering the verdict on November 20, Judge Abdulla Didi – who also presided over Nasheed’s terrorism trial – stated that Islamic Sharia requires the eyewitness testimony of two males to prove guilt in murder cases.

The state had presented one eyewitnesses to the assault and three witnesses who claimed to have heard the victim saying before he died that Shahum stabbed him.

“National security threat”

In July 2010, then-deputy police commissioner accused the chief judge of obstructing “high-profile corruption investigations” after Judge Abdulla suspended two police lawyers on “ethical grounds.”

After Judge Abdulla was taken into military custody on January 16, 2012, then-Home Minister Hassan Afeef said the chief judge was deemed a national security threat and listed 14 cases of obstruction of justice, including shielding officials of the former regime from human rights and corruption cases.

Afeef contended that the chief judge had taken “the entire criminal justice system in his fist” and alleged that the judge actively undermined cases against drug trafficking suspects and had allowed them opportunity to “fabricate false evidence after hearings had concluded”.

In his closing statement, Nasheed said he asked the police to investigate the chief judge in accordance with the law.

“After the police failed to summon Judge Abdulla for questioning, and after continuing the investigation as far as possible without questioning him, police found that Judge Abdulla constituted a threat to national security,” Nasheed explained.

“When informed of this, I ordered the home minister to take all measures necessary to safeguard the nation from this threat. I did not give directions at any time to any party, to complete a specific task in a specific manner or to take any specific measures.”

Nasheed insisted that he never ordered the police or military to arrest the judge and hold him under military custody, noting that none of the prosecution witnesses testified to any such verbal or written order.

On the day of his arrest, police summoned the chief judge for questioning. However, the High Court quashed the summons in an unprecedented move after Judge Abdulla challenged its legality.

Nasheed also referred to numerous complaints against the chief judge submitted to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which in November 2011 found him guilty of ethical misconduct after he made political statements in the media.

However, the Civil Court issued a stay order halting disciplinary action against the judge by the judicial watchdog or oversight body.

Related to this story

Former President Nasheed found guilty of terrorism, sentenced to 13 years in prison

Nasheed denies ordering Judge Abdulla arrest, granted three days to answer charges

Chief Judge “took entire criminal justice system in his fist”: Afeef

Failure of judiciary, JSC and parliament justified detention of Abdulla Mohamed, contends Velezinee in new book

Civil Court dismisses ruling of own watchdog body against Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed


Former chief of defence forces denies involvement in Judge Abdulla arrest

Defence Minister Major General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel has denied any involvement as then-chief of defence forces in the military’s controversial detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012.

At the second hearing of his trial on terrorism charges last night, Jaleel repeatedly said he neither received nor gave any orders to arrest the judge.

Prior to the judge’s arrest on January 16, then-Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfan took over many responsibilities of the highest-ranking commander, Jaleel explained, which he contended was against the Armed Forces Act.

Jaleel had told parliament’s Government Oversight Committee in January 2013 that Tholhath usurped the army chief’s powers through a strategic defence directive (SDD), which required area commanders to answer directly to the defence minister.

Jaleel’s lawyer, Adam Asif, said Tholhath informed the chief of defence forces of the operation – dubbed ‘Liberty Shield’ – to take the judge into military custody on the night of January 16, adding that Jaleel had told the defence minister that it should not be done without a Supreme Court order.

Tholhath and then-Malé Area Commander Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi – currently opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MP for mid-Hithadhoo constituency – was in charge of the operation, Jaleel said.

The pair are also on trial on terrorism charges along with former President Mohamed Nasheed and Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Ziyad.

All five defendants have pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges. The charges were filed under Article 2(b) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1990, which criminalises kidnappings and abductions and carries a jail term of between 10 to 15 years.

President Abdulla Yameen appointed Jaleel to the cabinet on January 20 shortly after sacking former Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim. Jaleel joined the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives in January 2014 and was subsequently appointed Maldives Ambassador to Pakistan.

At last night’s hearing, Jaleel repeatedly said the chief of defence forces had been reduced to a “ceremonial” official by Tholhath and that he was not consulted over the judge’s arrest.

However, Jaleel said he participated in meetings between the heads of the police and military to discuss challenges posed to law enforcement and domestic security by the Criminal Court’s alleged release of dangerous criminals and refusal to grant search and arrest warrants to police.

Jaleel said he also attended a meeting to discuss the issue with the Supreme Court bench.

However, Jaleel stressed that arresting the chief judge of the Criminal Court was not raised during any of the meetings.

In a back and forth between the prosecution and defence, State Prosecutor Aishath Fazna questioned whether the chief of defence forces was fulfilling his responsibility if he had been unaware of the impending arrest of the judge.

State prosecutors then submitted evidence against Jaleel, including a video of Judge Abdulla’s arrest and audio clips of public remarks by Nasheed at political rallies.

Senior officers of the police and military as well as former Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh were named among state witnesses, whom prosecutors asked to be summoned to court.

Jaleel also named six witnesses, including senior police officers and soldiers involved in the operation to arrest the chief judge, who he said would testify to the army chief’s non-involvement.

Adjourning the hearing, Judge Abdulla Didi said testimony of state witnesses would be heard at the next trial date.

Along with Judge Didi, the three-judge panel of the Criminal Court is comprised of Judge Abdul Bari Yousuf and Judge Shujau Usman.

Meanwhile, at hearings of the trials of MP Ibrahim Mohamed Didi and Colonel Ziyad – conducted separately last night – Judge Didi gave the pair three additional days to prepare their defence.

While Nasheed’s lawyers have named Judges Didi and Bari as witnesses – noting the pair’s presence at Judge Abdulla’s residence during the arrest – Judge Didi asked the defence lawyer not to name any judge on the bench as witnesses.

Judge Didi said the bench would not accept any of the judges as witnesses.

The third hearing of Nasheed’s trial has been scheduled for 8:00pm tomorrow night (March 2).

Related to this story

Nasheed’s lawyers name Judges Didi, Yousuf as witnesses, request their withdrawal from terrorism trial

Former President Nasheed arrives in court with arm in makeshift sling

Nasheed denied right to appoint lawyer and appeal “arbitrary” arrest warrant, contend lawyers

Chief Judge “took entire criminal justice system in his fist”: Afeef


Further pursuit of Nasheed case not in public interest: MDP

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has called on the state to drop the criminal charges against former president and party leader Mohamed Nasheed.

Describing the charges against Nasheed as the reason for many “unjust obstacles to the party and President Nasheed”, the MDP said that the pursuit of the case any further would not reflect “public interests” but rather “serves political agendas” of the government.

Charges pending in the Hulhumalé Magistrates’ Court regarding the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012 were withdrawn yesterday (February 17) by the Prosecutor General’s Office for further review.

PG Media Officer Adam Arif told Minivan News today that the office had informed the court that the charges had been withdrawn, requesting the case files be sent back. He did not provide any further details.

Under the powers granted in the Prosecutor General’s Act and the Constitution, the PG has the authority to discontinue or withdraw for further review any case prior to judgement.

Nasheed’s legal team had been in the process of challenging the assembly of the Hulhumalé Court bench in the Civil Court. Similar cases against the controversial court had seen Nasheed’s case stalled since April 2013.

“As President Mohamed Nasheed is a politician who continuous to receive support and love from a substantial portion of the Maldivian population, the decision to continue pursuing the case against public interests cannot be anything but an act of ridicule against the Maldivian people”, said the MDP statement today.

Minivan News was still awaiting a statement from Nasheed’s legal team at the time of publication.

Judge Abdulla Mohamed’s detention in January 2012 followed the failure of repeated attempts to investigate the judge’s conduct, with Nasheed citing grounds of national security for the decision.

The judge’s arrest by security forces led to an increase in tension on the streets of the capital, culminating in Nasheed’s resignation on February 7 after elements of the police and Maldives National Defence Force refused to obey his orders.

The Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report – released in August 2012 – found that the arrest had been “unconstitutional” and “illegal”, while the PG filed charges the previous June.

Related to this story

PG withdraws charges against Nasheed

Nasheed predicts he will soon be jailed

PG files charges against former President Nasheed over Judge Abdulla’s detention


JSC demotes High Court Chief Judge Shareef to Juvenile Court

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has transferred High Court Chief Judge Ahmed Shareef to the Juvenile Court as a disciplinary measure more than one year and two months after he was indefinitely suspended.

The judicial watchdog revealed in a press statement yesterday (August 6) that Shareef was found guilty of ethical misconduct following an investigation of a complaint filed by seven of his colleagues on the High Court bench.

The JSC did not divulge any details regarding the allegations.

However, in June 2012, the Anti-Corruption Commission was asked to investigate allegations that Chief Judge Shareef met officials of Malaysian mobile security firm Nexbis in Bangkok, Thailand while a case concerning the firm’s controversial border control project was scheduled at the High Court.

Hulhumalé magistrate court

Shareef was suspended on May 29, 2013 while he was presiding over a case filed by former President Mohamed Nasheed contesting the legitimacy of the JSC’s appointment of a three-judge panel at the Hulhumalé magistrate court.

The judges were appointed to preside over the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party presidential candidate’s trial concerning the military’s controversial detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012.

In April 2013, the High Court had suspended the trial pending a ruling on the legitimacy of the magistrate court bench.

However, the High Court case has remained stalled since Shareef’s suspension the following month – more than a year after the complaint was filed against him.

JSC Chair and Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla insisted at the time that the suspension was not related to the ongoing High Court case concerning Nasheed’s trial.

The suspension came shortly after the cancellation of a hearing in the Nasheed case which was scheduled at the High Court on the same day.

After voting against suspending Shareef, public representative on the JSC Shuaib Abdul Rahman told local media that the decision was made in violation of due process and JSC procedures as a report regarding the allegations was not presented to the commission’s members.

Shareef then challenged the JSC decision at the Civil Court contending that the suspension was unlawful. The court subsequently upheld the JSC decision in October 2013.


In addition to Nasheed’s case, a number of high-profile cases over which Shareef was presiding have remained stalled since his suspension, including an appeal by Fathmath Hana, 18, who was sentenced to death for the murder of prominent lawyer Ahmed Najeeb.

Shareef was also among the panel of judges hearing appeals from the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office over the acquittals of President Abdulla Yameen’s brother Abdulla Algeen on corruption charges and suspected drug kingpin Mohamed Hussain Manik.

According to the Judicature Act, the chief judge of a court has the administrative authority to appoint judges to preside over cases and make changes to panels. The Supreme Court had also ruled that acting chief judges do not have the authority to make such changes.

In June, the JSC appointed Judge Abdulla Hameed to head the High Court for a period of six months.

Meanwhile, in April, Nasheed asked the High Court to expedite the case concerning the legitimacy of the magistrate court bench.

Nasheed’s lawyer Hassan Latheef told Minivan News at the time that the former president did not wish to have pending criminal charges. Nasheed had previously said he was  “prepared” to justify the reasons for the arrest of Judge Abdulla and defend the decision at court.

In June, the High Court summoned members of Nasheed’s legal team to sign statements given at previous hearings.

Two of the three judges appointed to the magistrate court to preside over Nasheed’s trial have meanwhile been transferred to other courts. Judge Shujau Usman was transferred to the Criminal Court and Judge Hussain Mazeed to the Civil Court.

Meanwhile, according to the JSC’s annual report for 2013, the commission has yet to conclude investigations or make a decision regarding 106 cases, which were pending at the end of last year, including one complaint dating back to 2008 and four complaints from 2009.

In a comprehensive report on the Maldivian judiciary released in May 2013, UN Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, observed that a lack of transparency concerning the JSC’s proceedings “nourishes serious allegations of selectivity in the management of complaints.”


JSC’s transfer of superior court judges termed “unlawful” by Chief Justice

Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussain has stated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)’s transfer of superior court judges to other courts is unlawful.

Following the JSC’s decision to transfer Judge Abdulla Mohamed from his post as Criminal Court Chief Judge to the same position in the Drug Court on Monday, Faiz sent a letter to the president of the judicial watchdog Adam Mohamed on Tuesday stating that the commission did not have the legal authority to carry out such transfers.

Faiz subsequently deemed such decisions made by JSC to be “unlawful”.

The letter states that although Article 159(a) gives the JSC the authority to appoint, promote or transfer judges other than those from the Supreme Court, it “must not be interpreted as an absolute right”.

He then stated that the Judges’ Act mandates any transfer of a judge from his appointed court can only be carried out following deliberation with the Judicial Council.

The Judicial Council, meanwhile, is compiled of the seven judges sitting on the Supreme Court bench. Faiz stated in his letter that no judge should be transferred without consulting the Supreme Court first.

The Senior Legal and Complaints Officer Hassan Faheem Ibrahim – acting head at the JSC – confirmed to Minivan News that the commission had received the letter today.

“Since it is the Chief Justice who has sent this letter, we will not have any views on it or comments to make about it. It is the commission who will decide after they have deliberated on the matter. No meetings for the matter have been scheduled yet,” Faheem said.

Article 159(a) of the Maldives Constitution states that “The Judicial Services Commission is entrusted with the responsibility and power to appoint, promote and transfer Judges other the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court, and to make recommendations to the President on the appointment of the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court.

Article 49 of the Judges’ Act refers to temporary transfer of judges from one court to another and states “Temporary appointment of a Judge to preside over cases in a court will be decided upon by the Judicial Services Commission under the advice of the Judicial Council”.

Speaking to Minivan News on Monday, appointee from the Parliament to the JSC, Maldivian Democratic Party MP Ahmed Hamza said that about eight judges have so far been transferred from the courts they previously presided over. He added that the decision to transfer Judge Abdulla Mohamed was made to strengthen the courts by transferring experienced judges to different courts so as to spread knowledge and expertise.

Judge Abdulla Mohamed has previously been under investigation from the JSC, for allegations of ethical misconduct and obstruction of corruption investigations among others.

The decision of President Mohamed Nasheed to detain Mohamed in January 2012 fuelled a series of protests by then-opposition political parties, eventually leading to a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation.


JSC shuffles nine judges “to strengthen judiciary”

The Judicial Services Commission has announced it will shuffle nine superior court judges in a bid to “strengthen the judiciary.”

The judicial oversight body said the reassignments would uphold public trust in the judiciary and were an opportunity for judges to build capacity and gain additional experience.

The nine reassignments include Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed who has now been transferred to the post of the Drug Court’s Chief Judge. Judge Abdulla’s military detention in January 2012 precipitated the ousting of former President Mohamed Nasheed. He has been accused of obstructing high profile corruption cases and has been investigated for ethical misconduct.

The Prosecutor General (PG) has charged Nasheed with unlawful arrest of a government employee over Abdulla’s arrest, but the case is currently stalled after Nasheed’s legal team challenged the legitimacy of the appointment of the judges-panel to Hulhumale Magistrates Court, where the trial is being heard.

Criminal Court judges Muhuthaz Fahmy and Abdul Bari Yusuf were reassigned to the Drug Court and Juvenile Court respectively.

Yusuf was suspended in February 2013 over allegations of misconduct and the JSC told local media that despite his reassignment, Yusuf remains suspended. However, if his suspension is lifted, he will start work at the Juvenile Court, the JSC added.

The Family Court’s Ibrahim Ali was changed to the Criminal Court.

Drug Court’s judges Zubair Mohamed and Mohamed Easafulhu were reassigned to the Criminal Court while Abdul Sattar Abdul Hameed was reassigned from the Drug Court to the Civil Court.

The Civil Court’s Ali Naseer was changed to the Family Court and the Family Court’s Hassan Shafeeu was reassigned to the Civil Court. The Juvenile Court’s Mohamed Naeem was changed to the Drug Court.

UN Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, issued a report in May 2013 expressing concern over the politicisation of the JSC and judiciary.


Majlis to review removal of Penal Code Article 81

The People’s Majlis has narrowly voted to review a series of Penal Code amendments proposed by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) including the removal of the Penal Code’s Article 81.

Former President Nasheed is currently being charged under Article 81 for the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed – an incident that precipitated Nasheed’s ouster in February 2012.

“It shall be an offense for any public servant by reason of the authority of office he is in to detain or arrest in a manner contrary to law. Person guilty of this offense shall be subjected to exile or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding MVR 2,000,” reads the article.

MDP MP Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy’s proposal passed with 27 members voting for and 26 members voting against the proposal. The proposal will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee before it is sent to the Majlis floor for a final vote.

Other amendments also include the removal of Penal Code’s Article 75 and 87.

Article 75 concerns the making of false charges: “Whoever institutes a claim against another person with the intent to cause inconvenience, loss or injury to that person without lawful grounds shall be subjected to a fine not exceeding MVR 2000.”

Article 87 of the code relates to the failure to assist public servant in his duties, with offenders subject to exile, six months imprisonment, or a MVR500 fine.

The current penal code was written in 1968. Work on a new penal code started in 2008, but it is still at committee stage.


MDP MP Ilyas Labeeb appeals to police to refuse “unconstitutional” orders, as protests continue

MDP member of parliament and parliamentary whip Ilyas Labeeb appealed to police to protect the constitution, refuse to follow unconstitutional orders, and to learn from the action of the senior MNDF officers who recently sent a “letter of concern” to Chief of Defence Force about the matter.

Ilyas Labeeb delivered his speech from the campaign truck kept on Fareedhee Magu in the middle of the crowd, facing the police standing behind barricades.

Just as Labeeb began addressing the crowd, police lit up floodlights to spotlight the MP.

“Shining that light in our faces, or implying we are marked for arrest, does not intimidate me. Violently taking MP Ali Azim into your custody does not intimidate me. Even if you come and take me away now, that still won’t scare me. I will come back here and speak out as soon as I am freed again. We are asking for elections, for our constitutional right,” Labeeb said.

“Aren’t you ashamed to be bowing down to unconstitutional orders? Nineteen MNDF officers have sent a letter against the following of constitutional orders, against the politicisation of the security forces. The MNDF is more senior than the police force. Listen to them, learn from them. Give it up now. Your stand on February 7 was that you were demonstrating against unconstitutional orders. What are you doing today?”

“We are standing up for the constitutional rights we are entitled to, for our sake, for the sake of our families, yes, but equally for the future of you and your families. Start protecting the constitution, police, that is in the best interests of the nation.”

Ilyas Labeeb ended his speech by leading the crowd in chanting “Where’s my vote? You stole my vote”, “Election now” and “Forward, forward, swiftly forward”.

By this time, just over a dozen regular police officers formed a line of obstruction behind the barricades, facing the protesters.

Labeeb moved to the frontline of the protest and appealed to the police again, this time speaking directly to them without the aid of a microphone or making it a public speech.

“You boys must think deeply. Why are you following unconstitutional orders? Neither the Police Act nor the Constitution mandates you to do so, in fact it is clearly stated that you must not follow an unconstitutional order,” he said.

“Don’t you realise what they are doing? They send you out here against hundreds and thousands of citizens, you come with your name tags and in simple regular uniform, and you face scorn from the people. Yet it isn’t you, but the Special Operations who hide behind their masks and helmets who run into crowds and brutalise citizens. They are using you young boys as a shield to hide behind. You don’t have to be slaves to the SO officers or the Commissioner of Police,” Labeeb continued.

“Look at [Commissioner of Police] Abdulla Riyaz. He’s hiding in his rooms after sending you all here. He has secured an apartment abroad, planning to run away as soon as the government changes. All the leading people who were part of the coup have. They won’t think of you then. What will happen to you boys if you continue following unconstitutional orders?”

“Remember all that talk about housing flats for the police? Do you know who took the first flat? Abdulla Riyaz. It was meant for regular officers like you, but he took one for himself first. Is this how you want things to be? Are you still going to stay back quietly and let things proceed like this?”

“I know that as you are all listening to this speech of mine now, your seniors will take you in for a chat later tonight. But they are not the ones you should be believing, nor should you believe me. Instead, read for yourselves what is in the Police Act and the constitution. If you need assistance, we can arrange lawyers for you; not lawyers affiliated with MDP but other experienced lawyers.”

“Regardless of how long it takes to get back our right to vote, we will continue demanding it. And when the elections are on, we will beat them with votes. We will win the elections.”

MP went back into the crowds after concluding his monologue to the line of officers.

Monday – the fourth consecutive day of protests – saw protesters grow from a few hundred to just over a thousand by around 10:00pm.

Crowds later thinned out once the SO officers came to the area after protesters moved, and later hid the police barricades at the protest site.

Minivan News observed teams of SO officers run into the crowds twice and make two arrests – one of whom was a man who had previously crossed the police line set out by the regular police officers, referred to as ‘Blues’.

The SO later drove six times to and fro through the protest area in one of their trucks after crowds had thinned out, locating a barricade hidden in a construction site on Fareedhee Magu and sending regular officers to retrieve it.

“Targeting MDP MPs as an intimidation tactic”: MP Alhan Fahmy

Meanwhile, police have been arresting and summoning MDP parliamentary group members in relation to various cases in the past few days after the party started direct action asking for immediate elections.

MP Alhan Fahmy, who was summoned to police headquarters for questioning at 2:00pm on Tuesday described the events as “intimidation tactics being used by the police. They [the government] are using multiple state institutions in their actions of undermining the constitution and its powers”.

Fahmy said that the police had accused him of threatening Supreme Court judges and their families at a protest held on September 26.

“I told them I have done no such thing, that I never called for attacks or threatened any of these judges they speak of or their families. That all I said at the rally was my perspective on the current judges sitting on the SC bench. I told them that I had spoken of a video clip showing indecent behaviour that police has said Ali Hameed has been seen in, and that if so I believe Ali Hameed should no longer be sitting on the bench,” Fahmy told Minivan News today.

MDP International Spokesperson and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor was also taken into police custody on Monday afternoon, allegedly for not accepting court summons. He has been transferred to house arrest today after the first hearing of the case.

Ghafoor’s lawyer, Fareesha Abdulla O’Shea, however claims that due process was not followed when delivering the court summons.

She said that the case is being presided over by Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

“The case is about Hamid’s refusal to give a urine sample and he is being charged under section 123 of the Drug Act. I advised not to enter a plea as we haven’t received any of the related documents or information from the court yet,” O’Shea said.

“Today, after the hearing, Hamid was issued another summons relating to charges levied for possession of alcohol,” she stated.

MP Ali Azim was arrested from the protests on Sunday night, with SO officers pulling him off the campaign truck, throwing him onto the ground and dragging him away into custody. He was brought to a court hearing on Monday, where the courts added a seven day extension to his detention on account of him being “a threat to national security”.

Azim attended a meeting of the Parliament’s Privileges Committee after his hearing yesterday, where he alleged that he had been ill-treated even after arrest.

“The SO officer on my right side tried very hard to break my finger, I have photos to prove this. Upon being pushed into the van, one of the officers grabbed hold of my groin area very hard,” Azim told the committee.

“They also asked me to provide a urine sample, but I didn’t because my lawyer advised me against it as the charges levied against me did not allow police to make such a request. I was also handcuffed on the trip from Dhoonidhoo to the court in Male’, and on the way to this parliamentary meeting,” he added.

DRP MP ‘Colonel’ Mohamed Nasheed was also arrested at protests and later released, while MP Ibrahim Rasheed is being investigated for allegedly assaulting police.

MP Eva Abdulla has also been arrested at protests on Tuesday.


President Waheed to back PPM in second round, stepping down as GIP head

President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Itthihaad Party (GIP) will support the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) during a run-off vote to decide this year’s presidential election – presently scheduled to be held on September 28.

Minivan News understands that, although Dr Waheed will also be stepping down as head of the party, he will urge supporters to back PPM presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen against Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rival, former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The announcement of the GIP backing the PPM, comes days after the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) announced its support for Nasheed and the MDP during the second round of voting.  The DRP had backed Waheed in the first round vote, with party Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali standing as the incumbent’s running mate.

President Waheed took 5.13 percent of the total votes cast on September 7, finishing in last place.

The poll is presently being contested within the courts over allegations of vote rigging by third-place candidate MP Gasim Ibrahim and the Jumhoree Party (JP), who secured 24.07 percent of ballots cast.

According to provisional Elections Commission (EC) results, PPM candidate Yameen narrowly secured his place in the second round with 25.35 percent of the votes cast.

Former President Nasheed led the poll with 45.45 percent of the popular vote – falling short of the 51 percent needed to secure the presidency during the first round.

A senior source within President Waheed’s campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, today said that the incumbent would be personally lending his support to Yameen’s campaign along with the GIP, despite opting to step down as head of the party.

The same source claimed that should any aspects of the ballot be challenged by the party, including calls for a recount, it would be best to have President Waheed distance himself from such actions.

Minivan News was awaiting an official statement from the GIP at times of press.

“Worryingly serious” allegations

However, President Waheed was today quoted in local media as being concerned over “worryingly serious” allegations over the first round vote that he called to be addressed within the legal framework of the Maldives.

Despite expressing concerns over allegations raised by the JP , the president was also quoted in Sun Online as praising the election for being conducted “smoothly” and peacefully” earlier this month.

Waheed reportedly stated that he had decided to back Abdulla Yameen – half brother of the country’s autocratic former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – based on what he believed was the best interest for the Maldives.

“I do not believe it is not right [sic] to weaken the country’s constitutional framework, trample the law, set fire to property, instigate unrest,” read the statement reportedly attributed to the president.

Meanwhile, PPM vice presidential candidate Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed earlier this week declared that former President Mohamed Nasheed “will not be allowed to assume power”, even should he emerge as the clear winner in the run-off.

Clarifying his remarks to Minivan News at the time, Dr Jameel stated that his comments during the rally reflected the “criminal charge filed against Nasheed” concerning his role in the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, who stands accused of corruption and halting investigations into his conduct through the courts.

“As there is an impending [criminal] charge on him, he would be facing the outcome of the trial that would stop him from holding [the office of the president]. That is what I meant [at the rally],” Dr Jameel explained.

The JP meanwhile today confirmed that the party’s council and its coalition partners had not yet taken a decision on whether it would support a candidate in the second round of voting.

JP Policy Secretary Mohamed Ajmal said that the party remained focused solely on trying to prove via the courts that the first round vote had been “rigged”, adding that – although the party would consider supporting one of the two candidates in the final round – no such talks discussions had been held at present.