President Yameen denies knowledge of Nazim weapons set-up

President Abdulla Yameen today hit back at Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla’s claims the president was aware of the alleged framing of former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim in an illegal weapons charge.

Sheikh Imran, speaking at the opposition Alliance Against Brutality last night, said he had met with President Yameen on March 3 and told the president he would have knowledge of the senior government officials involved in the set-up against Nazim.

“Even though it cannot be proven at the court, we told [President] Yameen that we have enough evidence to prove that Nazim was being framed, and told him to our knowledge the president was well aware of what had happened. But the president said he did not know,” Sheikh Imran told hundreds of opposition supporters.

The President’s Office issued a statement today denying Imran’s claim, stating President Yameen had responded to Imran’s allegations of framing, saying he was not aware “whether Nazim had been framed or not.”

Sheikh Imran had asked the president to withdraw charges against Nazim at the 1.5 hour meeting, but President Yameen told the six member Adhaalath Party delegation that he had no constitutional authority to withdraw charges pressed by an independent Prosecutor General following an independent police investigation, the statement said.

President Yameen then instructed Sheikh Imran to join Nazim’s defence team and mount a defence through the court if he had reason to believe Nazim was framed. The President also told Sheikh Imran the matter must be resolved through the courts, the statement continued.

Nazim maintains the pistol and three bullets found in a bedside drawer during a midnight raid were planted by rogue officers. However, the Criminal Court yesterday only called two out of 38 defence witnesses, claiming the witnesses presented by the defence did not appear to negate the prosecution’s claims.

The former Defence Minister alleges Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb had planned the set-up following a fallout over Adeeb’s alleged use of police officers to commit crimes, including the chopping down of all of Malé City’s Areca Palms. Both Adeeb and Maldives Police Services have denied the allegations.

Sheikh Imran last night also declared that the opposition would no longer tolerate President Yameen’s “brutality,” Adeeb’s alleged rampant corruption, unfair prosecution of political rivals, and “destruction of public property”.

In response, President’s Office said Imran should file any complaints of corruption with the Anti Corruption Commission.

The Adhaalath Party, Nazim’s family, high ranking Jumhooree Party (JP) officials and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) united against President Yameen’s alleged brutality last week.

The Alliance Against Brutality last night warned the government to initiate dialogue with the opposition or face the consequences.

“If [President Yameen] does not come to the [negotation] table, I would say he won’t have any other choice but to go home,” said JP Deputy Leader Ameen Ibrahim.