Yameen rejects VP’s request that judge be released and suspended

Parliamentary group leader of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Mulak constituency MP Abdulla Yameen has rejected Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s request that Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed be released from military detention but suspended from the Criminal Court bench until all charges against him have been cleared by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

The JSC was tasked with investigating allegations against the judge last year, however its efforts were blocked by a Civil Court ruling. The Judge was arrested by Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on January 16, 2011, after attempting to block his own police summons.

Speaking against the government’s order to have the judge arrested, the Vice President first stated his opinion on Saturday, January 21. He gave a press conference the following day, asserting that the judge’s detention was unlawful.

After questioning by police yesterday, Yameen rejected the Vice President’s statement as “unacceptable”, local media reports.

While PPM does not wish to interfere with the JSC’s investigation, Yameen argued that it should be conducted within the boundaries of law.

Since the judge’s arrest PPM and other opposition parties have led protests outside the Maldive Monetary Authority (MMA), the closest point to the no-protest zone surrounding the President’s Office and government buildings.