MNDF refuses to present Yameen on court order

The Maldives National Defece Force (MNDF) has today declined to obey a court warrant issued by the Criminal Court to summon People’s Alliance (PA) Leader and MP Abdulla Yameen, who was taken to Aarah island this morning at dawn by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) reportedly “for his own protection”.

Police were compelled to used force to restrain ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists outside Yameen’s house last night. Shortly afterwards, both police and protesters were showered with rocks an other projectiles by people from nearby buildings, injuring many. Police used tear gas while the MNDF deployed an armoured car to contain the incident.

Yameen was taken to the Presidential Retreat ‘Aarah’ to provide assistance and protection to him upon his request, according to the MNDF.

The MP and high-profile businessman was recently summoned for questioning by police concerning charges of bribery and treason. After a series of court hearings regarding the legality of his arrest and detention, along with Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Gasim Ibrahim, the Supreme Court ruled he be released from house arrest.

However the government yesterday indicated that it was unwilling to drop the matter, and was monitoring judges for signs of corruption.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the MNDF had refused to the court warrant to summon Yamin “because the MNDF does not believe it was a lawful order issued by the court.’’

‘’He requested the MNDF provide security and protection for him,’’ said Zuhair. “He told the MNDF that he wished to leave Male’ and stay on another island.’’

Zuhair said Yameen had attempted to stay on an island in Alifu Atoll but the MNDF took him to Aarah island “because MNDF knows where they can provide him best protection.”

‘’It was the [opposition] who sparked the riot last night,” Zuhair claimed. “At first it was just a peaceful assembly, but some people tried to attack the president. A group of people ran towards him to attack him, but his bodyguards confronted them.’’

Zuhair said MDP supporters gathered outside Yameen’s house following the attack, alleging he was the person behind the attack.

‘’When MDP supported gathered near Yameen’s house, people in the nearby buildings threw pavement blocks down at them. It proves that they were ready for violence,’’ he said.

PA Secretary General Ibrahim Shareef said everyone should follow an order of the court.

‘’We will not accept this,’’ Shareef said. ‘’If everyone uses their power anyway they want, there is no use for laws and regulations.’’

Shareef claimed that the MNDF took Yameen against his will, and not by request.

‘’They took him after the riot was controlled and when everything was over,’’ Shareef claimed.

Major Abdul Raheem said he did not have detailed information regarding the case, and recommended Minivan News contact Attorney General Husnu Suood.

Suood did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.