Parliament cancelled during debate over retrials

Speaker of the Parliament Abdulla Shahid cancelled last night’s hearing on the Court’s Bill when the debate heated up between ruling and opposition party MPs, during the last sitting of the second session of parliament for 2010.

A statement issued by the parliament this morning said that the parliament had ceased for recess and would resume in October.

During last night’s session, ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs expressed disapproval amendments proposed by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs, however all the amendments presented by the opposition were passed.

The amendment that triggered uproar was a proposal to prevent the courts from conducting trials related to activities of the former government. The amendment also obstructs the retrial of controversial cases.

MDP Parliamentary Group leader Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik claimed that last night’s sitting was to be cancelled “because DRP MPs tried to take hold the judiciary in their fists more than they already do.”

‘’We had to protest against the way parliament’s session was conducted when DRP MPs forwarded their self-interest,’’ said Moosa. ‘’DRP presented an amendment that disables courts hold trials of ‘recent cases’.’’

He said the “friendly environment” in parliament established after conclusion of the constitutional deadline “has now vanished because of the DRP MPs.”

DRP MP Abdulla Mausoom said last night’s session “was ruined” by MDP MPs when the session “was not going the way MDP MPs wanted.’’

“We have the right to propose amendments; all the things they are saying are excuses,’’ said Mausoom. “MDP MPs just do not like following the due procedure of the parliament.’’

Mausoom said MDP MPs had previously boycotted parliament sessions when matters did not go the way they wanted, and suggested it would have been better “if they also did so this time”.

‘’Our amendments were proposed to broaden the bill and to frame it in such a way that the courts can perform their work best,’’ he said. ‘’All the amendments were presented after discussion with [DRP’s] parliamentary group.”

The Bill on Courts was presented to the parliament by the government.


Police arrest three connected to gang rape

Police have confirmed that three men have been arrested for raping a 40 year old woman in Gnaviyani Faumulaku.

The woman and her husband were stopped by three masked men on Friday night. After being taken at knife point to a remote beach area of the island, the men tied the husband to a tree and gang raped the woman.

Police said that the men were arrested with assistance from the Fuamulak community and the Fuamulak Crime Prevention Committee.