Committee approves no-confidence motion against Prosecutor General

Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee has approved a no-confidence motion against Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz with four votes in favour and three against.

Following today’s committee decision, the motion will be put to a vote at the People’s Majlis floor.

At the committee’s previous meeting on Monday (November 4), Muiz was asked to submit a response in writing after the meeting was disrupted by MPs of the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives, Jumhooree Party, and Dhivehi Qaumee Party.

The no-confidence motion against Muiz was filed by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party last month claiming that the PG had failed to prosecute police officers who mutinied against the former government and assaulted protesters. The party has accused the PG of “selectively” pursuing cases against its members while ignoring “human rights abuses” committed by police in the wake of the controversial transfer of presidential power on February 7, 2012.


Prosecutor General asked to submit response in writing after havoc in committee meeting

A meeting of parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee held today for the Prosecutor General (PG) to respond to a no-confidence motion was called off after disorderly conduct from MPs of the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives, Jumhooree Party (JP), and Dhivehi Qaumee Party.

A motion was passed with the support of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party MPs to ask PG Ahmed Muiz to submit his defence in writing by 9pm tonight.

The pro-government MPs contended that the proceedings were in violation of parliamentary rules and harangued Chair MP Ahmed Sameer. MPs Riyaz Rasheed, Ilham Ahmed, Ali Arif, Abdul Muhsin Hameed and Ahmed Amir banged saucers and cups on the table and raised their voices.

JP Deputy Leader Ilham played music on his phone and held it up to a mic.

The MDP filed a no-confidence motion against Muiz last month claiming that the PG had failed to prosecute police officers who mutinied against the former government and assaulted protesters.

Today’s meeting was held after Muiz asked for more time to respond to the charges last week saying he had been on his annual leave when he received the summons to attend the committee.


MDP files no-confidence motion against the Prosecutor General

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has filed a no-confidence motion against the Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muiz today (October 24) claiming that that he had failed in taking action against the police and the military officers who mutinied against former President Mohamed Nasheed on February 2012.

Nasheed was forced to step down after his decision to arrest the Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed led to twenty-two days of continuous anti-government protests escalating into the mutiny. Following the ousting of its government, the then-ruling MDP alleged that Nasheed had been ousted in a bloodless coup d’état.

Despite the claims, a Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) established by Nasheed’s successor Dr Mohamed Waheed – including a Singaporean judge, a representee nominated by Nasheed, and three other members handpicked by Waheed – concluded that the transfer did not amount to a coup, proclaiming Waheed appointment to have been legal.

However, the CoNI’s final report admitted that both officers of the police and military were involved in several unlawful activities during the change of government, making recommendations to the government to take action against them.

The MDP in its statement argued that the CoNI report had given clear evidence of gross misconduct by the police and the military that included brutalizing protesters and undermining fundamental rights guaranteed to the people by the constitution.

The party alleged that the PG – despite having the power, authority, and the mandate to look into such actions – had failed to take any action against the wrongdoing noted in the CoNI report.

Other reasons for filing the motion, the statement claimed, included the failure to come up with any results despite being mandated to oversee the functioning of the country’s criminal justice system, and the prioritising of personal over national interests when ordering investigations into criminal wrongdoings.

The statement further alleged that the PG has undermined the rights of the people due to the PG’s negligence in carrying out his duties.

The party also claimed that the PG had been silent to several massive discrepancies within the courts and had refused to act even at times when actions by the courts were obviously in contrast with laws and democratic norms.

Does not hold the qualities required by the constitution: MDP

“Based on aforementioned reasons, [we] file a case requesting the parliament to take no-confidence motion as per section 178(a) of the Parliamentary Regulations, against the Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz, as he does not hold the qualities of an Independent and Impartial Prosecutor General as required by the Article 220 of the constitution,” read the statement.

Prosecutor General Muiz has come under heavy fire from the MDP for recent criminal charges filed against its senior party members, including its parliamentarians. The party has accused Muizz of being biased and politically aligned with government parties.

MDP presidential candidate Nasheed has previously alleged that Muiz’s independence and impartiality had been compromised in return for his job security.

Nasheed at the time claimed that the PG had fashioned criminal charges against people in such a fashion as to appease government-aligned groups in the parliament, thus ensuring he can remain in his position.

“Hamid Abdul Ghafoor…is facing charges for possessing alcohol and narcotics… A similar kind of thing was found from the suit case of Ahmed ‘Sun travel’ Shiyam [Leader of Maldivian Development Alliance],” said Nasheed said at the time.

“But the Prosecutor General did not notice that both cases had the same offence,”

However, following the recent decision by the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to support Nasheed, the opposition group has now become the majority in parliament.

The opposition MDP currently commands the support of 44 MPs that includes 34 members of the party and 10 from the DRP.

The MDP has meanwhile also filed similar no-confidence motions against the Attorney General, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim and Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb for their roles in the government’s attempt to stall the presidential elections.


New deputy prosecutor general appointed

Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muizz has appointed Deebanaz Fahmy as his new deputy following the resignation of former Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem.

Newspaper Haveeru reported yesterday that Deebanaz, formerly an attorney at the PG office, is the daughter of Assistant Prosecutor General Ahmed Hameed Fahmy.

An official from the PG office told the newspaper that Deebanaz has been working in prosecution for nine years.

Former Deputy PG Hussain Shameem confirmed to Minivan News earlier this month that he had left his post as Deputy Prosecutor General in order to pursue further education in the United Kingdom.


Z-DRP requests PG investigate MDP MPs’ “act of terrorism”

Opposition MPs met with Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muiz today to request criminal charges be pressed against MPs of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for bolting the chamber doors and “hijacking parliament” on July 13.

Speaking to press outside the Prosecutor General’s Office, MP Ahmed Mahlouf said that the opposition MPs considered the incident an “act of terrorism” and “a serious criminal offence.”

“In addition, because neither the army nor police took any action against MDP members protesting outside the parliament building, where gatherings are illegal, we also submitted that complaint,” he said.

He added that the MPs requested an investigation into MDP activists locking parliament gates with chains “as a serious issue.”

PG Muiz with MP Hamdhoon Hameed
PG Muiz with MP Hamdhoon Hameed

Speaking to Minivan News today, MP Ibrahim ‘Ibu’ Mohamed Solih, parliamentary group leader of the ruling party, said that the opposition MPs’ decision to take matters up with the PG was “regrettable.”

“There are internal arrangements [within parliament] to deal with such matters,” he explained. “If there was an issue of privileges or ethics, we have a privileges committee and an ethics committee that can investigate [complaints].”

Ibu Solih insisted that there was no criminal element to the disturbances in parliament last week.

Z-DRP MPs Mahlouf, Ilham Ahmed, Ali Arif and Ahmed Nihan were joined at the meeting this afternoon by MPs of the minority opposition Jumhooree Party, People’s Alliance and Dhivehi Qaumee Party.

Mahlouf told reporters that “rocks and water bottles” hurled into the building caused harm to both MPs and officers of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

He claimed that PA MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla was hit by a rock while an MNDF officer’s eyes were “seriously hurt” by a projectile.

The DRP MP for Galolhu South noted that neither the MNDF nor police moved to offer protection to Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim “an hour and a half after the hijacking.”

“After the sitting finished, for the security forces to stand by and do nothing while the Deputy Speaker and MPs were hijacked in there is a very serious problem,” he said.

Asked if any MP was directly prevented from leaving the chamber that day, Mahlouf said that he “tried to get out [of the chamber] but couldn’t do it.”

“My grandmother was at the ICU at the time and I couldn’t go there,” he said. “We couldn’t even go to the toilet. We have videos of all of this and we have even shared some with the media.”


PG rejects case concerning alcohol bottles found in MP Moosa’s car

The Prosecutor General’s office has rejected a case sent by police concerning 168 alcohol bottles discovered inside the car of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group leader MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the case was sent back by the Prosecutor General requesting the inclusion of missing information concerning the investigation.

”After including this information we will send it back to the Prosecutor General’s Office,” Shiyam said. ”We can’t disclose what information the Prosecutor General is requiring us to include.”

The bottles were found in Moosa’s car in February 2010 while he was out of the country. Moosa has claimed his driver was bribed to put the bottles of “cheap alcohol” into his car in an attempt to frame him for the crime.

That same week police arrested four expatriate men loading 168 bottles of whiskey and menthol gin into the car registered to Moosa, on the same day controversial liquor licensing regulations were unveiled by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Last year October police said the investigation in to the case was concluded and had beensent to Prosecutor General.

At the time the police refused to say whether Moosa would stand trial in the case.

Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.