Ex Defense Minister Nazim’s wife presses “malicious prosecution” charges against PG Muhsin

Former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim’s wife has pressed civil charges against Prosecutor General (PG) Muhthaz Muhsin for “malicious prosecution” over a now withdrawn illegal weapons charge.

Afaaf Abdul Majeed and Nazim were summoned to the Criminal Court on February 25 over the discovery of a pistol and three bullets during a police raid on their apartment on January 18.

But state prosecutors requested the three judge panel to withdraw charges against Afaaf, claiming documents on a pen drive confiscated along with the weapons had brought to light new information.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Afaaf’s family member Ismail Hameed said Muhsin had made an unjust accusation against Afaaf. Her complaint filed under Article 75 of the 1968 Penal Code was submitted to the Civil Court today.

Article 75 penalizes unjust accusations made with the intent of harming or hurting an individual with a fine no more than MVR200 (US$13).

Afaaf was not aware she was under suspicion for illegal weapons possession until she received the court summons. The police had questioned her only once on the controversial weapons find, her lawyer has previously said.

Nazim’s family alleged the weapons were planted in order to frame the then- Defense Minister, a claim the police have denied.

Lawyer Maumoon Hameed on Monday said the decision to withdraw charges against Afaaf demonstrated that Muhsin could not be trusted to protect the former Defense Minister’s rights as the accused, including the PG’s constitutional responsibility to asses evidence presented by investigating bodies before pursuing charges and overseeing the legality of preliminary investigations.

State prosecutors were also forced to change charges from illegal weapons possession to importing and possessing illegal weapons midway through Monday’s hearing when Hameed pointed out an error in the charge sheet.

Further, some of the 13 anonymized police statements presented as witness statements were dated a year back, Hameed contended. The police had also claimed to have discovered an improvised explosive device in the black bag, but had made no mention of it in court, he added.

He then asked judges to hold a public and open trial in a larger courtroom to ensure Nazim’s rights are protected. Presiding Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf refused the request, saying the trial was already public as ten reporters and six members of the public were allowed to observe the trial.

The police on February 10 arrested Nazim on additional charges of terrorism and treason, claiming the documents in the pen drive indicated he was plotting to overthrow the government and harm state officials.

However, Hameed said the police had not questioned Nazim even once during the 15 day remand.

Before the remand expired, the Criminal Court placed Nazim in pre-trial detention until the illegal weapons trial concluded.

Nazim’s family in a statement last week urged the international community to step up pressure on President Abdulla Yameen’s administration, claiming “there is no hope that Nazim can expect a fair trial” due to a “notoriously politicized judiciary.”

“Nazim never expected to be where he is now. But he has fallen foul of a political conspiracy, one in which powerful forces within the Maldivian government have sought to destroy him and thus prevent him from challenging for the leadership of the ruling party,” Nazim’s family explained in a letter to the international community.

Related to this story:

Evidence against Nazim consists only of 13 anonymised police statements

Ex-Defence Minister calls for an open, public trial

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Ex defense minister’s wife charged with illegal weapons possession


No forensic evidence against Nazim, says legal team

Police do not have forensic evidence to support possession of dangerous weapons charges against former Defense Minister Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim, his legal team has claimed.

Maumoon Hameed told media last night (February 15) that the police were unable to provide any forensic evidence at Nazim’s remand hearing, despite both Nazim and his family having previously provided fingerprints and DNA samples.

“In 2013, the police spoke to the media and said that they are capable of processing 600 fingerprints per hour. What is taking them so long to process Nazim, his wife, two kids’ and their maid’s fingerprint samples?” asked Hameed.

After his arrest on February 10, Nazim was given 15 days of remand detention by the Criminal Court. Police had raided the apartment on January 18, later claiming to have found a pistol, three bullets, and an improvised explosive device.

Additionally, a pen drive was said to have been found containing evidence of an attempt to harm senior government officials, in what the police have said was a plan to overthrow the government.

Posters have since appeared around Malé City with the slogan ‘Free Nazim Now’, while several prominent politicians as well as Amnesty International have expressed concern over his sudden arrest.

“The day before yesterday the defense minister was hailed and deemed trustworthy,” said Maldivian Democratic Party Chairperson Ali Waheed speaking at a protest last week. “Now he is in a jail cell accused of crimes of a magnitude never seen before in Maldives”.

Nazim’s legal team said last night that the High Court has accepted two appeal cases filed by the legal team – one appealing Nazim’s arrest, with the second case appealing Criminal Court’s remand sentence.

The team has also announced that a defamation case had been submitted against the Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed for telling the press on January 29 that an explosive device was found during the raid.

The High Court appeal hearing is scheduled for 1.45pm today (February 16).

The legal team had previously claimed that the items found at Nazim’s house were planted by the Police, saying that officers spent 10 minutes inside Nazim’s bedroom unsupervised before the search began. Police have called the claims “untrue” and “baseless”.

Hameed also informed the media last night that the police had not responded to requests to share evidence against Nazim in order to allow the preparation of his defense, or for the items allegedly confiscated from his house to be investigated by an independent commission.

Also speaking at yesterday’s press conference, former Police Commissioner and member of Nazim’s defence Abdulla Riyaz reiterated his belief that some officers are following unlawful orders from politicians.

“I am saying this as an individual who has served  at the institution for over 20 years, no police officers should act in an unjust manner towards any individual,” said Riyaz.

The former police commissioner also highlighted issues with the search, saying that the police had not followed due procedures – claims the police have also denied repeatedly

“When conducting high profile searches, the Police always films the search,” said Riyaz. “However we have not been provided with a video footage of the search as of yet.”

Additionally, Riyaz suggested that if the police had found an improvised explosive device at his home, the area should have been evacuated, and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and the fire and rescue services informed.

The MNDF yesterday said that it would begin providing security for Riyaz after an official request for protection last week.

“People are following me everywhere I go. I feel somewhat threatened. I have requested for security but MNDF are yet to grant me security,” Riyaz told Minivan News yesterday.

Related to this story

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