Police have formally notified the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the Prosecutor General and President Mohamed Waheed Hassan regarding its investigation into the leaked sex-tape of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed.
Still images from the sex tape, allegedly showing the judge committing adultery with an unidentified foreign woman, were circulating on social media networks in Male today.
According to Maldivian law, the crime of fornication is subject to 100 lashes and banishment or house arrest for a period of eight months. However in the absences of witnesses or a confession, video footage is only considered supporting evidence.
The courts regularly issue this sentence, overwhelmingly to women found guilty of extramarital sex. Sentences are carried out in front of the justice building.
Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has meanwhile confirmed that it was Justice Ali Hameed’s video that is being investigated.
A police spokesperson told Minivan News individuals believed to be involved in the scandal had been either summoned to the police for questioning or had been arrested with a court warrant.
“We are currently investigating two cases concerning the video. One is the case of those who had been using the video to blackmail the people in it, and the other concerns the content of the video,” said the spokesperson.
Asked if there had been any intervention into the case by the JSC – which has previously asserted it has sole authority to investigate matters involving judges – the official said no such communications had been made. He emphasised that “police will not hesitate to take any action as required by law.”
Spy camera video
Last Sunday, a second spy camera video apparently depicting a Supreme Court Justice and a local businessman discussing political influence in the judiciary surfaced on social media networks.
The local media identified the two individuals seen in the video as Justice Ali Hameed and Mohamed Saeed, the director of local business firm ‘Golden Lane’.
The discussion between the two individual revealed how feuds between politicians were settled through the court even when they did not involve any legal disputes.
In the video, the Supreme Court Justice reveals of devious plots by politicians including one that involved a plot of “killing off” DRP leader Thasmeen Ali and refers to a “second person to be killed,” however due to the unclear audio it is not clear what the parties are referring to, or the context of the “killing”.
In another instance, the alleged Supreme Court Justice further went onto reveal his political ‘hook-up’ with Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom – the current Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential candidate and half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – claiming that he was one of Yameen’s “back-ups” and that his stand was “to do things the way Yameen wants”.
President Waheed expresses “sadness” over judge’s sex-tape
The video appeared shortly after the arrest of Ahmed Faiz – a council member of President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and then-Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry – while he was allegedly trying to sell a sex tape of a Supreme Court Justice, believed to be the same tape now subject to police investigation.
However, answering a question posed by local media at a press conference on Wednesday, President Waheed said it was a “very sad” thing for such a video to appear in public.
Taking a deep breath, Waheed said that there were “mistakes from both sides”, suggesting that both Justice Hameed and those who leaked the video were at fault.
“If the video is true, that means serious questions are raised against a Supreme Court Justice. However the video was obtained through planning. Making such videos in order to blackmail senior officials of the state is a huge crime,” Waheed said.
Waheed stressed that it was not within his mandate to take action against judges but appeared optimistic that the authorities would take action against the judge and that the matter would soon be resolved.
JSC irresponsible, says commission member
However, JSC’s member appointed from public, Shuaib Abdul Rahmaan did not share the same optimism.
In an interview with Haveeru, Shuaib contended that the JSC should suspend the judge from the Supreme Court bench while the police investigation was in progress.
Shuaib also alleged that the JSC was irresponsible as it had taken no action on the matter.
Speaking to Minivan News earlier, JSC Spokesperson Hassan Zaheen refused to comment on the case.
“Our legal department will analyse the video and if there happens to be a case which the commission needs to look into, then the department will inform the commission members,” he said at the time.
The JSC subsequently established a five-member committee to look into the matter at today’s meeting, after receiving the letter from police. Local media reported that the committee included commission members Latheefa Gasim, Ahmed Rasheed and Abdulla Didi, and two external lawyers: Hussain Siraj and Mohamed Anil.
Shuaib meanwhile alleged the JSC Chair, Hameed’s fellow Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed, was attempting to cover up the issue.
“Adam, it seems to me is trying to cover up the whole thing,” Shuaib declared.
JSC goes against precedent set by itself
According to Shuaib he had tried to take the matter to the commission meetings, but the chair had initially refused to put it on the agenda.
Instead, Shuaib said the chair of the commission wanted to make the matter a side table business and discuss it off the record.
Highlighting previous precedents in which the JSC had taken action against judges, Shuaib recalled the time former Civil Court Judge Mohamed Hilmee was arrested by police while indulging in sexual behaviour on the beach in front of the Hulhumale Magistrate Court.
Police at the time reported that Judge Hilmy and his wife Aminath Ali – who was his girl friend at the time – were discovered by police while in a state of undress.
The pair refuted the charges but the Criminal Court at the time noted that three police constables who witnessed the act had testified stating that “Aiminath’s underwear and pants were down to her knees” and that Hilmy had his “pants down to his knees” as well.
JSC Chair Adam meanwhile disputed Shuaib’s allegations, declaring that the commission would look into the matter in accordance with set procedures and rules.
Justice Hameed, who according to Supreme Court holds a Bachelor of Shari’ah and Qadhaa (Shari’ah and Law) degree from Ummul-Qura University in Mecca, is yet to face any repercussions over the sex-tape and continues to preside over Supreme Court cases.
His most recent appearance was on Thursday June 27, where he presided over the case involving the Bank of Maldives and DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali’s company Kanbaali Faru Investment. The bank had sought to reclaim loans that had not been paid by Dr Waheed’s presidential running mate.