Sri Lankan man’s passport held for over a year in Reeko’s bootleg booze case

A Sri Lankan national has appealed to the Criminal Court to release his passport, which has been held for over a year in relation to a case concerning the discovery of hundreds of bottles of cheap alcohol  in a car belonging to Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group leader ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik.

The Court identified the expat as Muhaidhee Mohamed. Following his complaint the Court summoned the police investigator in charge of the case, Staff Sergeant Ali Faiz, who told the court the matter would be resent to the Prosecutor General this week.

Faiz told the Criminal Court that the leader of a group of expats involved in importing alcohol illegally to the Maldives had fled during the police investigation.

‘’We would like to note that it has been one year, two months and 10 days from the day he was arrested,’’ said the Criminal Court. ‘’He was released by the Criminal Court after he was kept in detention for two months.”

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

Main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party Vice President Ibrahim Shareef then said he doubted the case “would go very far”, noting that “in the worst case scenario Reeko’s driver will be implicated and that will be the end of the story.”

The investigation into the case was concluded in October last year, and the case was sent to the Prosecutor General who rejected it and sent it back to police.

Police then said that the case was rejected because there was some necessary information was missing in the investigation.

Local media reported that during the court hearing during the investigation police told the judge that the main subject of the investigation was a person known only as  ‘Tin Tin’.

Moosa, who was in Singapore at the time of the incident, has maintained that his driver was bribed and the bottles were planted in his car to attack him politically.


Umar Naseer cannot overthrow government, responds Reeko Moosa

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)  MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has hit back at Deputy Leader of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Umar Naseer, who earlier warned that the party would topple the government if former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was handled “outside the chart”.

“Outside the chart” was a phrase used by President Nasheed that has been widely interpreted by the opposition as “acting outside the Constitution”, ostensibly in his detention of the Gayoom’s brother and People’s Alliance MP Abdulla Yameen on charges of treason and bribery, after he was released by the court.

Naseer’s heated rhetoric came in response to Nasheed’s speech at the launch of historian Ahmed Shafeeg’s book, which alleging that 111 Maldivian citizens were held in custody and tortured by the former administration.

Naseer warned that if Gayoom was handled “outside the chart”, “the next day we will file a no-confidence motion against the President and we will make it the end of his regime.”

Reeko responded that the opposition coalition DRP and People’s Alliance (PA), led by the former president’s half brother Abdulla Yameen, would find it impossible to overthrow or topple Nasheed’s government, “inside or outside the parliament.”

“No matter how many times Umar warns that this government can be overthrown if the president acts outside of the chart with regard to the former president, MDP is the only party that has the capability to overthrow a government by going out on the streets, or achieve anything,’’ Moosa said.

He added that in the event of a trial concerning torture allegations against the former government then Naseer – a former police officer – might be also investigated himself, alleging that he “is a person famous for taking part in the tortures [conducted] by the former administration.”

“Umar is a person attempting to destroy one party after the other,’’ Moosa alleged. “Now he’s trying to create aggression inside DRP, and divide the party.”

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


Reeko Moosa calls for end of peace talks with DRP

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP and parliamentary group leader Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik has called for ceasation of cross-party peace talks with the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).

Moosa’s appeal to MDP Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi and President Mohamed Nasheed to quit the peace talks were made following amendments presented by DRP to parliament during its last sitting two days ago.

“The bill on Courts was presented to the parliament’s floor following discussion with opposition and independent MPs, after coming to an understanding,” said Moosa. “After agreeing not to propose any amendments, all of a sudden they started proposing them.”

Moosa claimed that Speaker of the Parliament and DRP MP Abdulla Shahid dismissed the sitting while MDP MPs were calling for the bill to sent back to committee.

The amendment that triggered uproar and the cancellation of the sitting was a proposal to prevent the courts from conducting trials related to activities of the former government. The amendment also obstructs the retrial of controversial cases.

“The opposition intends to hide the big crimes committed by the former government,’’ Moosa explained. “DRP’s parliamentary majority is not a reason for MDP to beg the opposition.”

DRP MP Abdulla Mausoom said the last sitting of the second session “was ruined” by MDP MPs when the session “was not going the way MDP MPs wanted.’’

“We have the right to propose amendments; all the things they are saying are excuses,’’ said Mausoom. “MDP MPs just do not like following the due procedure of the parliament.’’

‘’Our amendments were proposed to broaden the bill and to frame it in such a way that the courts can perform their work best,’’ he said. ‘’All the amendments were presented after discussion with [DRP’s] parliamentary group.”


MDP calls on the resignation of Yameen from National Security Committee

Parliamentary Group Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has called on leader of the People’s Alliance  (PA) Abdulla Yameen to resign from parliament’s National Security Committee.

Moosa accused Yameen, who is the speaker of the National Security Committee, of using his position on the committee to seek revenge against police and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) after his arrest and detention by the government in July.

‘’After Yameen was arrested on charges of corruption, he has been continuously trying to smear the name of police and the MNDF,’’ said Moosa. “He will never succeed by chasing after the police and MNDF to get revenge.’’

Moosa alleged that Yameen was trying to summon superiors of armed forces to appear before the committee in “a cunning plan” to denigrate the institutions.

“This is a plan to take revenge on police and armed forces,’’ Moosa claimed.

Media Coordinator of PA Ahmed Faisal said Moosa’s comments were “a personal attack” on Yameen.

Yameen and Secretary General of PA Ahmed Shareef were abroad and unavailable for comment at time of press.


MDP might have to “take action” against VTV, warns Reeko Moosa

Parliamentary group leader for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has threatened “action” against Villa Television (VTV), a TV station owned by leader of the Jumhoory Party (JP) Leader and MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim.

Moosa alleged the channel “repeatedly misleads and broadcasts news in a way that smears respect for MDP, [in such a way] that MDP might have to take action against VTV.”

“Citizens of the Maldives have realized that VTV is not meeting the proper broadcasting standards due to their attempts to discredit MDP, the political party which introduced democracy to the Maldives,” claiming that there were “limitations” on freedom of expression.

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan said it was “typical” of Moosa to attack any media that “does not report the way he likes.”

“Previously when MDP was in the opposition he was against [state broadcaster] Television Maldives, and more than once he attacked the TVM building and its staff,’’ claimed Nihan. ‘’Now MDP is in power, Moosa is against VTV and DhiTV (a private television station).’’

Nihan said there was “only one action” Moosa could take.

‘’He can threaten the government and delay the issuing of a broadcasting license of VTV – I heard their license would expire very soon,’’ he said. “There is no such law that allows him to do that, but that is the only thing he can do.’’

He added that however Moosa attempted otherwise, it would be “impossible for him to bury the media.”

”The reason they hate VTV so much is that it has this TV programme that shows things President Nasheed vowed he would never do but did after coming to power, and some other things he had scheduled to do but failed to deliver on time,” Nihan claimed.


Bill on judges scheduled for parliament today

The controversial bill on judges is scheduled for today’s session in parliament. The committee stage of the bill will conclude and the presented to parliament chamber for the MPs to debate.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has meanwhile locked the Supreme Court and is barring entry to the judges, despite handing over the Supreme Court key to the Chief Justice as per a court ruling by the Civil Court on Sunday.

The case was presented to the court by the Prosecutor General requesting that the Supreme Court’s key should be returned to court staff. The MNDF is continuing the blockade despite pragmatic adherence to the legal technicality of handing over the key.

The opposition has claimed the interim Supreme Court should continue to function until the appointment of a new Supreme Court, as per article 284 of the Constitution in Chapter 14, which governs the transitional period.

Earlier in year the Supreme Court judges sent a letter to the president, declaring that they had ruled themselves permanent.

The judges of all courts, who met requirements approved by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), have meanwhile taken oaths for 70 years despite many having criminal convictions, limited qualifications, and in many cases, primary-school level education.

The government contends that the interim Supreme Court no longer exists on conclusion of the interim period, as Chapter 14 is now annulled. The deadlock worsened considerably on conclusion of the interim period, as the constitution was one of the few areas on which both sides of the political sphere agreed.

Meanwhile, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group leader and MP ‘Reeco’ Moosa Manik has told local newspaper ‘Miadhu’ that the parliament will today conclude the work on the law on judges, reestablish the Supreme Court and appoint the Chef Justice according to the constitution, before midnight.

Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader Ali Waheed told newspaper Miadhu that the party would being street demonstrations if today’s session did not continue, accusing the MDP of  obstructing the sessions.

Attorney General Husnu Suood resigned on Sunday claiming his job was untenable due to the constitutional void created by parliament’s failure to legislate and cancellation of critical sessions. He also called on the Speaker of the parliament Abdulla Shahid to share responsibility for the situation and also resign.

Parliament had promised to complete necessary legislation in a special session on Saturday, but this was cancelled by the speaker.

Reports this morning suggested the session was proceeding cautiously.


“MDP offered me millions of rufiya to join”: MP Mahlouf

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf has claimed that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has offered him “millions of rufiya” to join the party.

”I swear by God that MDP once offered me seven million rufiya and later nine million rufiya if I joined them,” said Mahlouf. ”Still, out of the respect I have for certain MDP members I will not reveal their names.”

However Mahlouf said he had sought to file a case with police concerning charges of bribery against MDP MP and Parliamentary Group leader Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik.

”I am not sure the case will be investigated,” said Mahloof, ”because police will not investigate charges against MDP members.”

He accused President Mohamed Nasheed of “threatening MPs to vote on the government’s side.”

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed that Mahlouf sent a letter to police requesting they investigate a case.

”We cannot give further information as the investigation is ongoing,” said Shiyam. ”We will go through the letter and take the necessary measures.”

Moosa meanwhile claimed said that ever since MDP had come into administration, the opposition “has tried to defame me in many ways.”

”They loaded bottles of alcohol into my car while I was abroad, and for seven nights and seven days it was on the media,” alleged Moosa. ”Once they even told a radio station that I was an [illegitimate] child.”

Moosa said he had “patiently” been ignoring the claims.

”But I won’t be silent anymore – this time I will file a [counter-claim] for defamation,” he said.


Ministers who applauded criticism of government should resign immediately: Reeko Moosa

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group leader Moosa ‘ReeKo’ Manik called on any ministers who applauded when the government was criticised to resign immediately.

His condemnation was likely meant for those ministers present at the GIP rally led by Vice President DR Mohamed Waheed Hassan on Saturday.

Moosa said that cabinet ministers had a responsibility to assist President Mohamed Nasheed’s work.

“If they think their responsibility is to applaud whenever someone criticises the government they should resign immediately,” Moosa said.

He said that government’s senior posts “should be filled only with people who support the MDP manifesto and accept the President’s thinking.”

”When someone starts criticising the government, even if it is the Vice President, it is a must for MDP to criticise him,” Moosa claimed.

”Everyday early morning we drape the national flag on our body and are ready to make essential laws for the country,” he claimed.

Press secretary for the President, Mohamed Zuhair said that President Nasheed would respect the words of MDP and Reeko Moosa.

”If the national congress of MDP says that it is their decision [to dismiss any cabinet minister], President Nasheed would have to do it,” Zuhair said.

He said that the Vice President’s acts were politically motivated.

”His aim is to promote himself and his party outside of the government,” Zuhair said. ”The new regulations says that any political party which does not have a minimum 3000 members will be disbanded.”

Zuhair said the Vice President’s party contains nearly 3000 members and that the VP was intending to increase the number of members by gaining support.


MPs vote against referring to Supreme Court on provinces issue

Yesterday MPs rejected the resolution presented by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to refer to the Supreme Court on the controversial provinces issue.

35 MPs voted for the resolution while 38 MPs voted against the resolution.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party Vice President and MP Ali Waheed said that he doubted the accuracy of the resolution, claiming that it was presented “to mislead the people.”

”MP Ahmed Sameer (who presented the resolution) has told so many lies standing near the podium,” Waheed said. ”Maybe he wanted to make a record for the first ever issue taken to the Supreme Court.”

The provinces section was removed from the decentralisation bill on the vote of the DRP, Dhivehi Qaumy Party (DQP), Peoples Alliance (PA), Jumhoory Party and several Independent MPs.

”I never knew that people voted to divide the country into seven provinces,” he said.

Waheed said even if the issue was taken to the Supreme Court, they were also unable to divide the country.

”It can only be done by the vote of 77 MPs,” he said.

Independent MP Ibrahim Muthalib said he was concerned that if the issue was taken to the Supreme Court, it would set a precedent and many decisions would be made by the Supreme Court.

”We are losing our dignity on our own,” he said.

MDP MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said that the issue was not a constitutional issue, and was rather a political issue.

”Dividing the country into provinces were in both the MDP and DRP manifestos,” Nasheed said. ”To fulfill the pledges of MDP, it’s one path we have to go down.”

He said that it would be more beneficial if there were seven ‘Males’, instead of one.

”What is really going on is that some DRP MPs and vice presidents had told me that if the issue was taken to the Supreme Court, it would rule that it is lawful,” he said. ”They asked me how they will save face in front of the people if that was the case.”

He called on the DRP MPs to take the issue to the Supreme Court if they were confident on the matter.

”If the Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional we will also be supporting DRP MPs,” he said.

DRP MP Ahmed Mahloof said the purpose of MDP presenting the resolution was to mislead the people.

‘The ‘DRP manifesto do not say it the party will divide the country into provinces,” he said, ”it says it would make four cities like Male’.”

Jumhooree Party MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim said it was not necessary to pass the resolution and take it to the Supreme Court.

”We should take this out of the parliament floor and continue our work making laws,” he said.

DRP MP Ahmed Nihan said that before taking the issue to the Supreme Court people should define the meaning of MDP’s pledges they made to the people.

”They pledged to provide houses for people made homeless by the Tsunami within one year,” he said. ”We should ask them what they meant by ‘one year’ and ‘providing houses’.”

MDP Parliamentary group leader Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik recently said that the MDP parliamentary group would put forward a no-confidence motion against the speaker of the parliament.

However, newspaper ‘Miadhu’ reported that DRP MP Rozaina Adam had claimed there were MDP MPs who would not vote for the no-confidence motion.

Rozaina told Minivan News that she did not wish to speak about the matter.

Reeko said that the parliamentary group would be deciding the matter after the decentralisation bill.

”We do not want to speak about it yet,” he said.

MDP Secretary General Ahmed Shah, Spokesperson Ahmed Haleem and Chairperson Mariya Didi did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.

DRP Vice President Umar Naseer said Reeko had promised to draft the no-confidence motion against the speaker not with the intention of doing it, ”but just to charge their activists.”

MDP can only get 27 votes even if the no-confidence motion was forwarded, he said: ”MDP can’t shoot goals in parliament.”