“I am a ‘gunda’. I will show that to you”: PPM councillor threatens deputy mayor

A recording understood to be of suspended Malé City Councillor Ahmed Mamnoon, reveals the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) member threatening Deputy Mayor Shifa Mohamed.

“What are you trying to do, filing my case with the Local Government Authority, what you all are trying to do is not very nice, you will not be able to anything,” a voice believed to be Mamnoon says in the tape.

“You can’t do whatever you want here, you see, I am not a politician, I am a ‘gunda’ [thug/gangster]. I will show that to you.’’

The recording aired on Raajje TV a day after the Local Government Authority (LGA) decided to suspend Mamnoon for five days following his alleged use of offensive language to address Shifa.

Minivan News understands that the recording relates to a second incident, after the initial complaint was filed.

“The incident is regrettable. Not only because this is the council, but this type of incidents should not occur at any working place,” said Mayor Mohamed Shihab today.

“We will keep informing the concerning government institutions about all these incident.”

In the video, the voice alleged to be Mamnoon can be heard saying that Shifa will not be able to take any action against “Hameed” and that, if any action was taken against “Hameed”, action would be taken against Shifa as well.

Controversial Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed has been in the headlines again this week, with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) releasing a statement criticising authorities’ failure to pursue the multiple crimes of which the judge is accused.

The 11-member Malé City Council is currently dominated by the MDP. Shifa was formerly the minister of education, while Mayor Shihab was home minister, during the administration of Mohamed Nasheed.

“Go and take action if you can,” continued the voice in the recording. “We took the Dharubaaruge chairs. In the future, if there is anything that belongs to Dharubaaruge, we’ll take it. We can’t be stopped.’’

The ruling PPM government has continued its predecessors moves to retrieve public areas granted to Malé City Council, with police moving in to assist the takeover of the Dharubaaruge convention center earlier this month.

PPM MP Ahmed Nihan said today that he was not aware of the incident.


Police investigate leaked audio clips

The Maldives Police Services has begun investigating the leaked audio clips of suspected telephone call conversations believed to be the voices of Independent MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, People’s Alliance party (PA) leader and MP Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Jumhoory Party (JP) leader and MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim, confirmed Press Secretary for the President, Mohamed Zuhair.

On July 4, three recordings of discussions between MPs referring to other MPs and officials, including a plan to cease work on the tax bill in the parliament, appeared on the internet and scandalised the Maldivian media.

Zuhair said he met with police officers this morning and that police informed him the investigation was progressing.

“The audio clips also raise issues of threats against the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),” Zuhair added.

A corruption case presented to parliament against former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem was instrumental in ousting the AG in vote of no-confidence, days after he publicly demanded a financial audit of all current and former ministers.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that police received the audio clips through the media and that they would be analysed and investigated.

“Police do not record the telephone conversations of people,” he claimed, but declined to provide further information.

Aishath Azima Shukoor, former Attorney General and a member of the legal team defending the detained MPs, noted that article 24 of the constitution promised “respect to personal communications” and that recording a personal telephone call was “unlawful according to the constitution, and that any evidence collected unlawfully cannot be presented to court as an evidence.”

“The audio clips would be inadmissible,” said Shukoor. “I do not believe that media can broadcast the audio clips either.”

Groups of pro-government demonstrators have been playing the clips through loudspeakers outside the court proceedings.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan recently told Minivan News that there was an MNDF officer who’s duty was to operate a telephone call recording machine.

“He records our telephone calls and handles it to (former) Defence minister Ameen Faisal,” said Nihan.

Dr Hassan Saeed, who is also a former Attorney General and member of the opposition leaders legal team, said he was busy and unable to comment to Minivan News at time of press.