Supreme Court upholds reinstatement of police inspector dismissed after rape allegations

The Supreme Court has today upheld the High Court ruling to reinstate Chief Inspector Hussain Risheef Thoha who had been dismissed after being accused of raping a woman inside a police car.

The ruling stated that, although the victim had alleged that a group of police officers attacked her, she did not state that Risheef participated in the rape.

Commenting on today’s ruling today, Maldivian Democratic Party MP and lawyer Imthiyaz ‘Inthi’ Fahmy expressed concern the court would ask for the reinstatement of an officer after its disciplinary board had decided that there was enough evidence to link him with a rape case.

”These are not just ordinary citizens, these are senior police officers accused of a serious crime,” Inthi said. ”This is very dangerous and serious.”

Risheef had called the officers who were inside the car, said the Supreme Court today, stating that this did not prove he had participated in the attack.

The ruling noted that there was no record of a phone call in which Risheed instructed officers to rape the victim.

The court ruling stated that Risheed had gone to the area where the girl had been left after the incident, and had given her a t-shirt to cover herself up.

Again, this does not prove that Risheef had participated in the act, said the court, noting that helping a person in that situation to cover up is how it should be done in Islamic principles.

The court also criticised the police disciplinary board for taking action against Risheef based on the allegations, saying that this was against Islamic principles and international best practice.

The case

In August 2011, a woman filed a case at police headquarters alleging she was sexually abused by a group of police officers, including Risheef.

Thoha later appealed his dismissal by the police disciplinary board at the Civil Court, which ruled that the decision had been lawful and that there was enough evidence to dismiss Risheef from duty.

The Civil Court noted at the time that Risheef’s call records showed he had contacted the other accused officers several times, and in turn had been contacted by them.

The ruling also said that the girl was thrown out of the car naked near the chief inspector’s house in Maafannu, and that Thoha had admitted to being in the area a few minutes later.

In August 2012, the High Court overruled the decision made by the Civil Court and ordered that police reinstate Risheef at the rank of chief inspector.

In September 2012, the High Court upheld a Civil Court ruling to reinstate Police Lance Corporal Ali Nasheed to active duty, who had been dismissed in relation to the same incident.

Recently, police said that they would only accept dismissed officers in a situation where the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of their position in the police.

Lawyer Inthi said that such issues makes the people lose confidence with the police force.

”This shows that issues like this are not taken seriously,” he said. ”The disciplinary board is a board that has the authority to dismiss police officers if they find that there was enough evidence to believe that a police officer is guilty of a crime.”


Police arrest two thieves accused of ‘hole-in-roof’ robberies

Police have arrested two people accused of a series of robberies in which holes were cut in the roofs of the target premises, mostly shops in Male’.

In a statement, Police Inspector Mohamed Dhaud said that from April 7-15 police have received reports that shops were being robbed at night, with the burglars entering through holes cut in the ceilings.

Inspector Dhaud said each night two or three shops were robbed using the same method, noticeably shops located near the local market area and shops on Chandanee Magu, a main road in Male’.

According to Dhaud, investigations showed that it was the same persons involved in all the robberies, leading police to launch a special operation to catch the thieves.

Police met with people around the area and one of them told patrolling officers that he had received a text message from a security alarm device installed inside a shop in Chandanee Magu called ‘Hanamaruko’.

Police immediately set off to Hanamaruko shop and found the two persons inside, catching them red-handed.

Two of them tried to escape when they saw police officers, but one of them was arrested inside the shop while the other person ran up to the Islamic Centre to escape, Inspector Dhaud said.

Police identified the two persons as Adam Shareef, of Irama on the island of Mathiveri in Alifu Alifu Atoll, and Mohamed Abubakuru, of Gulalamaa on the island of Miladhoo in Noonu Atoll.

Adam Shareef had a record number of robberies on his criminal record, police said, and had been released under the Second Chance Program given to inmates by the former government. Mohamed Abubakuru had no history of being involved in any criminal activity.

Dhaud said the pair’s fingerprints matched those obtained from other shops that were robbed in a similar manner.

Police furthermore said they had recovered Rf498,000 (US$33,200) worth of stolen items and money, and Rf 37,000 (US$2466) and Rf50,000 (US$3333) worth of stolen jewelry.