Former Defense Minister brought to Police for statement

Former Defense Minister Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim was brought  to the Maldives Police Services (MPS) headquarters to give a statement last night (February 7).

A police media official told Minivan News that Nazim was summoned in order to obtain a statement regarding the ongoing investigation into weapons found at Nazim’s home.

Nazim’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed – who has replaced former Attorney General Azima Shukoor as Nazim’s legal representative – confirmed that he and some of his family members have provided the police with statements.

“I would like to reiterate that Nazim has been assisting the police with this investigation since day one,” Hameed told Minivan News today. “In doing so, Nazim and members of his family provided DNA samples and fingerprints to the police.”

The MPS had previously revealed that it found a pistol and a makeshift explosive device at Nazim’s home during a raid under a court warrant in the early hours of January 18.

Speaking to the media on January 29, Commissioner of Police (CP) Hussein Waheed said that, after searching Nazim’s home using “forced entry”, police found a 9mm handgun, an improvised explosive device, 3 bullets, and a magazine.

Nazim’s lawyer immediately released a statement denying that the items found were there with the former minister’s knowledge.

“The items claimed to have been found at Colonel Mohamed Nazim’s residence by Police Commissioner Hussein Waheed do not belong to Colonel Nazim or his family, and if there were any items were present at the house, they were there without Colonel Nazim’s or his family’s knowledge,” read the statement.

Both Nazim and his wife’s passport have been withheld by authorities, with Commissioner Waheed explaining that police did not consider taking Nazim into custody to be the “best course of action to proceed depending on his profile”.

“However, as you can see we have prevented him from leaving abroad,” he added.

Additionally, Commissioner Waheed said that police had written to the Maldivian National Defense Force to verify ownership of the weaponry, being informed that no items were missing from the military’s inventory.

Police have maintained that the service was not aware it was Nazim’s home until after the raid, noting that they had adhered to international best practices and that Nazim was present during the search.

Waheed described the weapons as “very dangerous”, saying that, while the handgun could be lethal, the explosive device when matched with another component could cause “large scale destruction”.

Nazim – who was also acting health minister and head of immigration – was dismissed from his post on January 20, three days after the police raid.

Speaking to the media at the time, Nazim said that events had shown that no Maldivian was assured of safety and security.

“This gives an alarming signal that entering any house, at any time and to do anything is possible. The defence minister is the most senior official standing beside the president,” he told the press immediately following his dismissal.

Police have since suggested that Nazim was questioned regarding the weapons but that he had failed to adequately respond to the questions.

Related to this story

Pistol and explosive device found at Nazim’s home, says Police Commissioner

Dismissed Defence Minister’ passport held by authorities

Items confiscated by police do not belong to Nazim or his family, say lawyers

Police raid Defence Minister Nazim’s home in early hours


Police start sea search for Maail, missing for 7 days

Maldives Police Services have initiated a sea search for Abdullah Maail, a 24-year-old from Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo who has been reported missing for seven days.

Police media told Minivan News that officers have finished searching the island where Maail was believed to have disappeared, and have now extended the search to the surrounding seas.

A police press statement released last week said that Maail was last sighted at Shaviyani Firunbaidhoo – an uninhabited island where he works as a farmer – and that he was last seen with his bags.

Police will work alongside the Maldives National Defense Force and have requested any information regarding Maail’s whereabouts be submitted to police hotline 332 2111.


Police seek criminal charges against 18 year-old pair for refusing to submit to search

Police have requested the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) press criminal charges of “disobedience to an order” against a pair of 18 year-olds who refused to submit to a search by police officers on patrol.

According to police media, officers on patrol attempted to search Hussain Hassan, of Ghaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo Semy, and Ahmed Sanij Sodiq, of Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo Melon House, around 9:30pm on September 26 near the old Jamalludheen School building in Male’ “based on their [suspicious] behaviour”.

The pair allegedly refused to submit to the search and “obstructed policy duty.”

Article 88(a) of the Penal Code states, “It is an offence to disobey an order issued lawfully within the  Shari’ah or Law; a person guilty of this offence shall be subjected to a punishment of exile or imprisonment or house detention not exceeding 6 months or fine not exceeding MVR 150.00.”

Article 47(a) of the constitution however states, “No person shall be subject to search or seizure unless there is reasonable cause.”

While in government, the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) accused former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of using his influence on the judiciary to target MDP members using article 88(a) of the outdated penal code, which was drafted in the 1960s.

“What we are seeing today is, quite simply, a concerted attempt by the old guard to reassert itself. Having lost the presidency, and having recently lost control of the parliament, Gayoom and his allies are trying to win back power through the last non-violent channel open to them: the courts,” MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik said in a statement on October 25, 2011.

“Worse, Gayoom’s allies and the courts are using the notorious article 88(a) of the Criminal Code – a broad catch-all provision on ‘disobedience to order’ used by Gayoom when he was President to attack and imprison political opponents. Mohamed Nasheed, now President, was arrested and prosecuted dozens of times under article 88(a), as were many other pro-democracy activists.”

Meanwhile, at a press briefing on Wednesday, Assistant Commissioner of Police revealed that officers on patrol after midnight have questioned 2,930 individuals in the past few weeks and prepared their profiles.

The Head of Central Operations Command explained that police have been “questioning people awake and out on the street without a purpose after midnight” as part of an ongoing operation to curb crime in the capital.

Saudhi also claimed that the government’s decision to revoke licenses of businesses to operate 24-hours has led to a decrease in the crime rate.