Skip to main content

#Maldives: exPresident Nasheed's trial judges summoned before MDP-led Parliamentary Committee

#Maldives: The three judges presiding over ex-President Nasheed's trial have been arbitrarily summoned to appear before a Parliamentary Committee just 15 minutes before trial is scheduled to begin. The Parliamentary Subcommittee has a majority of MPs belonging to Nasheed' party Maldivian Democratic Party, and is led by MDP MP Ali Waheed (MP for Thoddoo Constituency). Nasheed is facing criminal charges for ordering the military arrest and detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdullah Mohamed. The case was brought against him, together with four others, by the country's independent Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu. The PG's case is built upon an investigation by Maldives Human Rights Commission, another independent body appointed by the Parliament.

The Parliamentary Committee's summons has been transmitted to the three judges by Speaker Abdulla Shahid. The Supreme Court and the Judicial Services Commission, an independent body entrusted with judicial administration in the country, last night issued press statement denouncing the summons as unconstitutional and illegal. Both bodies stated that judicial independence should be upheld and no person should interfere with due judicial process (Article 141 of the Constitution). However, a statement by the Parliament today counteracted these arguments with reference to the constitutional powers of the Parliament and "general practice" in democratic societies.

Critics of the Committee's summons include Committee member MP Ahmed Nihan (MP for Vilimaafannu Constituency) who notes that the summons is beyond the mandate of the Committee. The Committee's mandate is on General Matters relating to the Government. The summoned judges belong to a separate power, the Judiciary. The Speaker's media release did not make reference to the mandate of the Committee.

MP Ali Waheed, who is reported to have demanded and received US 3 million dollars from Nasheed to crossover from rival Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party (DRP) in 2010, also heads the Parliamentary Subcommittee on National Security (241 Committee). This Committee last night summoned Police Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz for a second time, the reason for the summons is unknown. In the case of the unlawful arrest and detention of Judge Abdulla Mohamed for which Nasheed is today facing criminal charges, MP Ali Waheed summoned the Prosecutor General and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives to the 241 Committee. Media reports at the time report that the Committee session was dominated by MDP members who harangued the PG and HRCM members for beginning the investigation into the judge's arrest. MP Ali Waheed himself is currently facing charges in court for defying police orders and crossing the police line at a demonstration.

With Nasheed's trial scheduled to start in 30 minutes time, the legal and illegal maneuverings of his party and supporters continue unabated with the latest being a false report published by Amnesty International on Nasheed's arrest. The Maldives Police have released video footage which shows that the Amnesty report was fabricated and disproved Amnesty's allegations. Maldivians on Twitter have strongly condemned the repeated false reports being publicised by Amnesty International on the Maldives.

Popular posts from this blog

The Quality of Political Appointees in the Nasheed Administration

As almost seven months pass since President Mohamed Nasheed took power in the Maldives, Maldivian citizens despair of ever seeing the much promised improvements in their livelihoods. The state treasury has been exhausted within this brief period, and the economy has declined to an extent worse than the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Escalating price of consumer goods, collapse of social services, increasing food insecurity and declining real income have thrown more people below the poverty line. While President Nasheed is engrossed in his hate and persecution campaign against political opponents, his government has ground to a halt.

The Nasheed administration came into power promising reduced expenditures, increased government revenue and a clamp down on corruption in top government circles. President Nasheed’s first budget (2009) has a 7 billion deficit (nearly 5 billion more than the previous administration’s last budget, and government revenue has fallen by more than 28% since…

#Maldives: 24 years after Nov 3 massacre: Are the terrorists back masquerading as a political party? Part 1

#Maldives: November 3rd, 2012 marks the 24th anniversary of the bloody massacre that left the blackest of stains on Maldivian hearts and history. Nineteen innocent Maldivians were slaughtered and several injured. Hundreds were held at gunpoint for hours, many later taken away as hostages. Immense damage was given to public and private property. Maldives was rescued by troops sent by Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi. The leader of the failed coup was a man called Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku, a man who had previous convictions for coup attempts against previous governments. The coup leader's nephew, Mohamed Nasheed, was installed as President in 2008, at the head of a political party whose top leadership comprised of family members and others involved in the 1988 November 3 massacre.

Nasheed's cabinet, senior political advisors and state ministers included terrorists convicted for their involvement in the November 3 massacre. As Nasheed denounces the current government of Dr. Mohamed W…

#Maldives: A Victim of Indian Foreign Policy? Nov 3, 1988 terrorist attack and GMR in perspective.

#Maldives: As November 3, 2012, the 24th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Maldives approaches, public sentiment against the Indian multinational GMR's lease of the Maldives' international airport has gained momentum. Inflammatory speeches by local politicians and local media reports associate the GMR-MACL lease agreement on a scale with the November 3rd 1988 terrorist attack. The 1988 terror attack was by a group of Maldivians headed by Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku (uncle of former President Nasheed) who brought 80 Tamil mercenaries to overthrow the government of the time. India's role then was that of the knight in shining armor, the Indian military and navy charging to the rescue in Operation Cactus. Nineteen people were killed in the terror attack.

Amidst the increasingly strident calls on the Maldivian Government to "throw GMR out" and to recapture the "Maldivians' airport for Maldivians", Maldivian commentators on social media question the I…