MDP MP summoned to police for questioning over Supreme Court Judge sex tape blackmail scandal

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy has been summoned by police in connection with the alleged blackmailing of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed using footage of the judge having sex with two foreign women said to be prostitutes.

Police confirmed to Minivan News that the Feydhoo MP had been asked to produce himself at police headquarters tonight at 8:30pm for questioning. They declined to provide further information on the matter.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Alhan Fahmy’s sister and lawyer Nooruban Fahmy said Fahmy had no insight at to why police had summoned him.

‘’We do not know any information yet,’’ she said. “We will know more tonight.’’

Fahmy has meanwhile told local media that the police summon chit states he is to be questioned over a matter involving corruption, blackmail and intimidation.

The MP tweeted a screenshot of a text message he claimed had been sent to his mobile phone by Superintendent of Police Mohamed Riyaz. The text read: ‘’Alhan, will make sure you are fully famed (sic) for blackmailing Justice Ali Hameed. You don’t know who we are.’’

On July 4, police formally notified the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the Prosecutor General and President Mohamed Waheed Hassan regarding their investigation into the case.

The existence of a video footage allegedly involving Justice Hameed indulging in adultery came into media limelight following the arrest of Ahmed Faiz – a senior Council Member of President Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and former Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry.

Following the arrest, Faiz was dismissed from his government position and the Spokesperson of President’s Office Masood Imad – who is also a GIP council member – denounced any links with the government regarding the video.

Still images from the sex tape, allegedly showing the judge committing adultery with an unidentified foreign woman, are meanwhile circulating on social media networks.

While fornication outside marriage is a crime under Maldivian law and subject to 100 lashes – a punishment disproportionately meted out to women – the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has so far rejected the recommendation of its investigating sub committee to suspend Justice Hameed, citing “lack of evidence”.


MDP running mate commences campaign trip under banner “I will not become a baaghee”

Former Education Minister and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) running mate Dr Mustafa Luthfy, who has recently been appointed as running mate of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed, has on Saturday commenced his introductory campaign trips to the atolls under the theme of “Nethey Veveykah Baaghee akah” – ‘I will not become a baaghee’ (‘traitor’).

“Under this programme we will be travelling all over the Maldives to campaign for the upcoming elections. The theme for the campaign is that I will not become a ‘baaghee’ [traitor] even if we are beaten and tortured,” Luthfy said in an interview prior to the trip.

The MDP on Tuesday concluded the first of its presidential running mate Dr. Mustafa Lutfi’s introductory campaign trips to the islands, after having held rallies in four of the southernmost atolls of the Maldives. The team plans to travel to over 26 islands, while also holding occasional rallies in the capital island Male’.

MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, former chairperson and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi and former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed were part of the campaign team which travelled to Haa Alif, Haa Dhaal, Shaviyani and Noonu atolls.

Addressing nearly 500 supporters gathered at a rally on Kulhudhuhfushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Luthfy said the MDP had been formed to bring an end to the culture of coup d’etats in the Maldives.

“The Maldives is a country in which some individuals in Male’ keep squabbling over power. A glance at our past proves this. This resulted in the development of Maldives proceeding at a much slower pace than it could have gone. In order to bring an end to violence, torture, harassment, deprivation of citizens’ rights, MDP was formed and we worked to establish democratic governance in the country,’ Luthfy said.

“Democracy stipulates that any administration can stay in power only for a specified amount of time. Therefore, there is no need to fight, to orchestrate coup d’etats to rise to power. People must calm down and be patient. The opportunity to rise to power will come with the end of each term. This system was established by MDP, so as to bring an end to the local culture of coups. And yet, before the five year term was up, [they] came out, claiming it was in the name of the nation, on February 7, 2012 and toppled the democracy we had established,” he continued.

“Allah has prohibited coups. However, they came out on Feb 7 under the pretence of action in the name of the nation and patriotism to bring a coup d’etat against Islamic Sharia.”

“In the Quran we have learned that bringing a coup d’etat is haram [prohibited]. We have heard that one must find a way to come to peace with them or come out to battle against them. MDP opted to not take the path of battle, and to peacefully bring an end to the coup. Under this intention, on February 8, MDP came out for a peaceful walk against the coup. However, the people were beaten and tortured. In broad daylight, they shed our blood onto the streets of Male’. Who did this? The very people who are paid salaries from our money to protect our families. They were provided batons and tear gas to protect us. They, however, used these against us,” Luthfy stated.

“I have spoken to many people about how the coup d’etat has affected them. Many of them cried. They spoke of having trouble sleeping, of having nightmares, of having lost appetite, of getting panic attacks. Many of our citizens were psychologically distressed by these events.”

“Expressing ourselves and chanting ‘Baaghee’ at the coup orchestrators helped us. If we hadn’t let out those feelings, we would have been burning up inside with the strong psychological trauma we faced. It is because we came out against this with courage that our efforts have not weakened and we remain strong today. We will continue to stand up against the coup and express ourselves through actions, speech and art. We want to let out our feelings of the coup, we do not want to drown in the bitter thoughts and memories of the coup d’etat. We want to instill in our hearts the feelings of unity and progress,” MDP’s running mate said in his speech.

“Even initially we came out against violence and torture. We came out to bring progress and development to the country. Insha Allah we will win this election in the first round itself, in one round,” Luthfy said, concluding his address.

One local who spoke at the rally told of the adverse effects the alleged coup of February 7, 2012 had on the development of the island.

“Mohamed Nasheed is the only candidate contesting in the upcoming September 7 elections who did not play a role in last year’s treacherous coup d’etat,” the local said.

The team also held rallies in four other islands during the three day trip.

Speaking on Manadhoo in Noonu Atoll, Luthfy said, “It does not at all deter me when upon visiting an island, I am asked to promise that I will not bring about a coup d’etat. It is something I tell myself too.”

He said people’s trepidation about his potential vice presidency was understandable in light of the actions of Nasheed’s previous running mate, current President Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

In addition to rallies, the team hoisted canvas prints depicting images of police brutality which followed the controversial transfer of power in 2012. The team will be leaving on phase two of the campaign trip early this coming week.


Criminal Court extends house arrest of MDP MP Adil

The Criminal Court has yesterday extended the house arrest of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Hassan Adil, out of concern that he could attempt to influence the witnesses and evidence if he was released.

Police have now concluded the investigation of the case and have sent it to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office last month. The Prosecutor General is yet to decide whether or not to try the case.

According to local media, MP Adil allegedly sexually abused a 13 year-old girl in a family he has a close relationship with before the incident.

Speaking to Haveeru newspaper, the victim’s father expressed concern that the case was still pending in the Prosecutor General’s office without being tried in the court.

As the matter is a child related case, the Court is likely to conduct the trial closed to journalists and the public.

So far the police and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) have declined to disclose details of the case in the interest of the child.

Article 73[c]2 of the constitution states that a member of the parliament will be disqualified if found guilty of a criminal offence .

Adil was first arrested on April 4 and was released to house arrest after he was kept for 15 days in pre-trial detention. He was later released to house arrest where he remains.

Adil was a former Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP who jumped to MDP after claiming that his constituents wished him to do so.


MDP to take province issue to Supreme Court

Spokesperson for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group MP Ahmed Shifaz has said the parliamentary group intends to take the dispute over the province section of the decentralisation bill to the supreme court.

Shifaz said according to the constitution, when the parliament disputes an issue by resolution it has the power to ask for advice from the supreme court.

”The opposition say it is unconstitutional to divide the country in to seven provinces,” Shifaz said, ”so we are going to present a resolution to the parliament, and see what the Supreme Court says,”

He said he hoped the opposition MPs would agree to pass a resolution to hear what the Supreme Court says.

”According to the constitution the Supreme Court is able to give the last word,” he said. ”I hope they agree and pass the resolution.”

MDP MP Ahmed Hamza said the MDP parliamentary group had decided to present a resolution according to the Article 95 of the constitution.

Aricle 95 of the constitution reads as follows: ”The People’s Majlis may by resolution refer to the Supreme Court for hearing and consideration important questions of law concerning any matter, including the interpretation of the Constitution and the constitutional validity of any statute. The Supreme Court shall answer the questions so referred and shall provide the answers to the People’s Majlis, giving reasons for its answers. The opinion shall be pronounced in like manner as in the case of a judgement on appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Hamza said that the opposition MPs claimed that dividing the country into seven provinces was against article 230 [b] of the constitution.

Article 230 [b] of the constitution reads as follows: ”In order to provide for decentralised administration, the President has the power, as provided in law, to create constituencies, posts, island councils, atoll councils and city councils.”

”This is not a constitutional issue, in fact, this is a political issue,” Hamza said, ”we want the Supreme Court to say whether dividing in to seven provinces is against 230 [b] of the constitution.”

Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed said did not wish to comment on the issue yet.

”This might even be a political issue,” he suggested.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan said it was written in the constitution “in clear words” that the country’s administrative units cannot be divided into seven provinces.

Nihan said the party would not change its stand.

”I do not think the Supreme Court would say we are wrong either,” he said. ”I think our party will not change its mind.”

He said dividing the country into administrative units would make it more difficult for people to get services from the government.

Deputy Leader of DRP Umar Naseer said that presenting a resolution to the parliament to hear what the Supreme Court had to say on the matter “does not have any weight.”

”Although the Supreme Court can say whatever it likes, it’s in the hand of MPs to decide what to do with the provinces,” he said. ”They are just trying to delay this bill.”

He said that MDP MPs were already aware that people did not want to divide the country’s administrative units into seven provinces.


DRP to take no-confidence motion on Home Minister

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed has said the party will put forward a no-confidence motion against Home Minister Mohamed Shihab, after police detained Waheed and several other senior party figures in an effort to defuse violent clashes between the supporters of both parties on Thursday night.

”We decided to take the no-confidence motion against Shihab because he used his powers and influence against the law,” Waheed said, adding that details would be provided tomorrow.

Waheed alleged that when the situation in Male’ broke the peace of the country on Thursday night, “Shihab was relaxing in a nearby resort.”

He said the party had received information “from a trusted source” that President Mohamed Nasheed gave the order to police that night to arrest the senior party leaders.

”The police have no powers, they only have to take orders from their leader,” he said.

However the President’s Office said yesterday that the government had full confidence in police and “absolutely no involvement” in the decision to remove the DRP leaders from the protest.

But Waheed claimed that the police “cannot arrest MPs while a no-confidence motion is ongoing inside parliament.”

”The police lied to us, saying that they were taking us to police head quarters to calm down the situation,” he said. ”Instead they took us to Dhoonidhu and took our mobile phones, and treated us just like the other criminals there.”

Vice president of DRP Umar Naseer said that there were “many things” the Home Minister had done, including “attacking peaceful protesters with tear gas.”

”He arrested MPs while there was a ongoing no-confidence motion in the parliament which is against the law, did not stopped MDP thugs attacking us, and did not enforce the law,” Naseer said.

He also claimed that President Mohamed Nasheed was “giving the orders to police that night”, claiming the party had obtained the information “because 90 per cent of the police and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) support the DRP.”

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair confirmed that President Mohamed Nasheed went  to the police headquarters on Thursday night, “but not to give orders.”

”He went there because he is the owner of all the powers – police and MNDF,” Zuhair said, ”but the Commissioner of Police was the one giving the orders.”

Zuhair claimed that the opposition was trying to take no-confidence motion against ministers “one by one” to delay more productive bills sent to the parliament by the government.

”Countries with civil wars pass more bills in parliament than the Maldives does,” Zuhair said.

He said the opposition “is  jealous and cannot accept their failure.”

”They are trying to show the people that they still have powers,” he suggested.

MDP’s parliamentary group spokesperson Mohamed Shifaz said the party would stand against the no-confidence motion on the home minister as ”we have not noticed home minister doing anything against the law.”

He said the party’s parliamentary group would continue to discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) released a statement appealing to the police to respect laws and to treat everyone equally when they work to disperse crowds.

HRCM said that ”political parties meetings are interrupted due to differences among people on political issues.”

The commission said it had noticed that regulations governing the  dispersal of protests “are not being applied equally among everyone”, and that Article 32 of the Constitution guaranteed ”freedom to gather peacefully without prior permission  from the government.”

Home Minister Mohamed Shihab and State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Adil did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


MDP call for no confidence-motion against speaker

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will put forward a no-confidence motion against the speaker, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Abdulla Shahid, spokesperson for MDP’s parliamentry group Mohamed Shifaz said today.

Parliament was cancelled again today because of chaos in the chamber. Police blockaded streets around the parliament and presidential palace in the wake of running protests, while a political gathering at the artificial beach this evening erupted into violence and was dispersed by police using tear gas.

”We do not believe that a man under such pressure can do anything correctly,” Shifaz said, accusing Shahid of siding with the opposition coalition ”most of the time”.

”He adds things to the agenda against the procedures of parliament,” Shifaz said. ”If there is a bill that makes things difficult for the government, that is the first thing he wants to discuss.”

Shifaz said the MDP MPs were “still unsure” about their security and safety inside the parliament chamber after yesterday’s brawl, and had sought reassurance from the speaker.

In a letter posted on parliament’s website, Shahid said he had requested that police investigate the incident, and adding that “what happened inside the chamber was not acceptable behaviour for a parliamentary debate”.

In addition, he said he had ”no pressure on me from any political party. I call on all the political parties to cooperate with each other.”

Shahid insisted he “had control of the parliament”, and said he did not wish to comment on the no-confidence motion reportedly being drafted against him. Instead, he called on MPs to cooperate and continue work.

DRP MP Ali Waheed, Ahmed Ilham, and Vice president Umar Naseer did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.


Umar Naseer claims MDP influencing internal DRP politics

Former president of the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) and candidate for the DRP vice presidency, Umar Naseer, has claimed he is being targeted by an amendment presented to the party insisting candidates seeking elections to senior positions must have been a member for at least six months.

”It must be someone related to MDP who is trying to stop me from becoming the vice president of DRP,” Umar claimed.

He said that the MDP “was afraid that if I become the vice president of the party the government might fall”, and said the ruling party was “planning many things” to stop him from becoming the DRP’s vice president.

DRP MP Ahmed Mausoom said the amendments would only be announced on the 16 and 17 of February, adding that he did not know who had presented the amendment.

DRP MP Ali Waheed, who is also contesting for the party’s vice presidency, said he had not yet gone through the amendments and could not comment on them yet. He said he gave the eight candidates running for the post of vice president his “best wishes”.

Spokesman for MDP Ahmed Haleem said that the MDP “does not consider Umar Naseer a political figure”, and added that the party was looking forward to a time when DRP “strengthens its inner democracy and leadership to become a strong opposition party.”