Two more videos apparently showing Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed engaging in sexual relations with foreign women have been leaked on social media.
Three other videos already in circulation, including a third sex tape and two videos of the judge meeting prominent Maldivian business and political figures, recently prompted the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to form a five-member subcommittee to investigate the matter.
The two new leaks follow the JSC’s decision last week to disregard the subcommittee’s recommendation and not suspend the judge, citing “lack of evidence”.
According to Maldivian law, the crime of fornication is subject to 100 lashes and banishment or house arrest for a period of eight months.
The courts regularly issue this sentence, overwhelmingly to women found guilty of extramarital sex. Sentences are carried out in front of the justice building next door to the Supreme Court, and occasionally attract high profile international media coverage, such as the sentencing in February this year of a 15 year-old rape victim.
Minivan News understands that one of the newly leaked videos, time-stamped January 24 2013, shows the judge fraternising with a topless woman with an eastern European accent. At one point the judge leans right into the camera, and his face is visible.
Afterwards, the woman repeatedly encourages the judge to drink wine from a minibar.
“If I drink that I will be caught. I don’t want to be caught,” the judge insists, refusing.
The room and date stamp appears to be the same as that in previously leaked footage of Hameed meeting a local businessman Mohamed Saeed, the director of ‘Golden Lane’.
In that video, Hameed asserts that he was one of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Presidential Candidate’s Abdulla Yameen’s “back-ups”, and that his stand was “to do things the way Yameen wants”.
“Even [Speaker of Parliament] Abdulla Shahid will know very well that my stand is to do things the way Yameen wants. That the fall of this government was brought with our participation,” he appears to add, although the audio quality is poor (01:49).
One of the men claims to have heard plans to “kill off” leader of the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and refers to a “second person to be killed,” however, due to the unclear audio it is not clear what the parties are referring to, or the context of the “killing”. The person believed to be Hameed then promises, “If it comes into my hands, I will kill him off.”
That video appeared shortly after police arrested Ahmed Faiz – a council member of President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and then-Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry – while he was allegedly trying to sell another sex tape of the Supreme Court Justice.
Don’t make negative statements on the judiciary: Chief Justice
Chief Judge of the Supreme Court Ahmed Faiz has meanwhile urged the public and media to refrain from making statements that would give a negative image of the judiciary.
The judiciary could only be strengthened by the amending the constitution, Faiz claimed, according to local media.
“Based on our experience up until now, we know that in order to further strengthen the judiciary, the constitution needs to be amended, relevant laws need to be amended, and relevant laws required by the judiciary need to be introduced as soon as possible,” he said.
PPM Vice Presidential candidate Dr Mohamed Jameel meanwhile declared at a party rally over the weekend that the judiciary was the “worst the country has seen in its entire history”, according to local media.
“Today’s reality is that, even if we reflect upon the magistrates in the island courts to the judges who sit in the courts of Male’, they receive higher salaries and better privileges than all of the common people. But the question is, while the system and their salaries are being upheld by taxes, do the people get their justice?” said Dr Jameel, who served as Justice Minister under former President Gayoom’s administration.
“In what country, in what way can a country’s people be made to suffer, batter the people and intimidate them, kidnap them and use the people’s money through corruption, abuse the people’s property through millions and then sell them, but have no investigation, no trial for these people, these events require you to give considerable thought to the state of the country,” he said.
Dr Jameel then blamed the judiciary for allowing former President Mohamed Nasheed’s name to appear on the ballot for the September 2013 elections.
“Some of the people who are standing for presidency should not have their names on the ballot paper if the country’s laws are being followed, if the State’s policies are properly implemented. Somebody has to be responsible for this. I believe that the blame goes on the judiciary,” Jameel said.
Supreme Court Judge Hameed with businessman Mohamed Saeed