The former Home Minister Hassan Afeef was yesterday summoned to the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) to the police for questioning over the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Speaking to the press outside the police headquarters, Afeef said he had no role in the arrest of Abdulla and that he had only requested the military to arrest him after police had asked him to make the request.
Afeef said it was the police that informed the Home Ministry that there were issues concerning the national security of the Maldives if Abdulla was to remain at large.
He said that in a letter he sent to the Defence Ministry on behalf of the Home Ministry, issues concerning the national security of the country were outlined very clearly.
He declined to provide details on the arrest of Abdulla because they concerned the national security of the country, he said.
When Minivan News contacted Afeef for a comment he said what he told last night outside the police headquarters was all he could say regarding the issue.
A police spokesperson today told Minivan News that police asked Hassan Afeef to come to the police headquarters at 9:30pm last night.
‘’He came on time and we questioned him about the arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed,’’ he said. ‘’He answered all the questions very well.’’
Yesterday afternoon Afeef was summoned to HRCM for questioning over the arrest of Judge Abdulla.
Afeef met the press outside the HRCM and said the commission faced him a lot of questions and that he answered all the questions fully and declined to provide details of the questions.
Recently Former government’s Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim and former President Mohamed Nasheed were summoned to the HRCM.
Tholhath was also summoned to the police headquarters, however, he used the right to remain silent.
Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by the Defence Force in compliance with a police request.
However, the protests sparked in Male’ following the arrest and lasted until the resignation of the former president.
The opposition-led protests in the run up to Nasheed’s resignation initial called for the release of the Criminal Court Judge.
The first complaints against Abdulla Mohamed were filed in July 2005 by then Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed, and included allegations of misogyny, sexual deviancy, and throwing out an assault case despite the confession of the accused.
The Judicial Services Commission (JSC), the judicial watchdog, eventually formed a complaints committee to investigate the cases against Judge Abdulla in December 2009, which met 44 times but had failed to present a single report as of March 2011.
The JSC eventually concluded an investigation into politically-contentious comments made by Judge Abdulla Mohamed on DhiTV, but the report was never released after the judge sought a Civil Court injunction against his further investigation in September 2011.
Then-Home Minister Hassan Afeef subsequently accused the judge of “taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist”, listing 14 cases of obstruction of police duty including withholding warrants for up to four days, ordering police to conduct unlawful investigations and disregarding decisions by higher courts.
Afeef accused the judge of “deliberately” holding up cases involving opposition figures, barring media from corruption trials, ordering the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, and maintaining “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes.
The judge also released a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.
Then Vice President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan opposed the judge’s detention, stating on his blog that “I am ashamed and totally devastated by the fact that this is happening in a government in which I am the elected Vice President.”
Nasheed’s government requested assistance from the international community to reform the judiciary. Observing that judicial reform “really should come from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC)”, then Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said the commission’s shortcoming are “now an issue of national security.”