October 10, 2018
The Criminal Court on Wednesday annulled the bribery charges levied against former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and former Judge Ali Hameed of the Supreme Court.
Saeed and Hameed were arrested and indicted of several charges over the top court’s landmark ruling of February 1 to release political prisoners. The state charged the two former justices and former Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed with accepting bribes, under accusations that Jumhooree Party founder Qasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group had paid for expensive properties in Malaysia that were acquired by people linked to the three.
The Criminal Court annulled their charges, stating that it could not proceed with the case based on the burden of proof.
The court also nullified the case against Qasim Ibrahim’s son Siyad Qasim, who was arrested and charged with giving bribes, in the case. The court annulled the charge, stating that the prosecution had not submitted evidence that proved Villa Group had paid for the properties in Malaysia.
While the court has dropped their bribery charges, Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed are serving jail sentences of more than three years over two convictions, while Hassan Saeed is imprisoned for four months and 24 days over one conviction.
The state has also levied terrorism charges against Abdulla Saeed and Ali Hameed. Their trials are currently ongoing.
October 9, 2018
Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) has decided to suspend Former Attorney General and prominent lawyer Husnu Al Suood for four months.
DJA, run under the Supreme Court of the Maldives, made the announcement on Tuesday, stating that Suood’s suspension is effective from Tuesday for the span of four months. He was suspended after thorough investigation under the regulations set for law practitioners in the Maldives.
The ex-AG’s suspension comes following an inappropriate tweet he had posted regarding which read that the Supreme Court’s decision to extend a presidential term in 2013 is illegitimate.
It is also followed by an interview he gave to VNews in which he says that former President Dr. Mohamed Waheed’s term, who came into power after then President Mohamed Nasheed was ousted, had been extended under a Supreme Court ruling. He had gone on to say that this decision was illegitimate.
This is not the first time the ex-Attorney General has been suspended from practicing law.
September 25, 2018
The change of government in the Maldives presents a huge opportunity to break with the repression and human rights violations of the past and chart a fresh course where human rights are at the heart of the policies and action of the new government, Amnesty International said today.
The 23 September 2018 presidential election saw the defeat of President Abdulla Yameen to the Joint Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Abdulla Yameen’s rule was marked by attacks on civil society, media workers, the political opposition and the judiciary.
“This is a golden opportunity for the Maldives. The new government must break with the country’s repressive past and put the protection of human rights at the heart of its policies and action,” said Dinushika Dissanayake, Deputy South Asia Director at Amnesty International.
“The joint opposition made several pledges when it comes to the human rights situation in the Maldives. Now, it is time to begin to translate those words into action, including by releasing those people who were wrongly imprisoned, repealing repressive laws, and creating an environment conducive to full respect for human rights and where civil society can flourish.”
September 21, 2018
The Criminal Court of the Maldives has remanded former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s legal representative Moosa Siraj for six days.
Jailed Adeeb’s defence lawyer was arrested on Thursday night under a court order decreeing that publicizing his client’s statements was a criminal offence.
The police raided his apartment on Friday morning and seized some documents, a pen drive, and a hard disk.
Upon being presented before the judge later in the evening, he had been remanded by six days after he confirmed publicizing his client’s statements. At the remand hearing Siraj had declared that he had done whatever needed to be done in his client’s defense as he is a law practitioner.
“Have any of you heard of a thing called lawyer-client privileges?” asked Siraj, going on to challenge the police service to present a law that states what he had done is illegal, which the police had failed to do. The officer investigating Siraj’s case had then claimed that the rights of President Yameen and General Shiyam had been compromised due to the statements.
Highlighting that President Abdulla Yameen is a candidate vying for Presidency in the Sunday election, the officer had stated that Siraj posed a threat to national security.
September 21, 2018
Maldives Police raided detained lawyer Moosa Siraj’s apartment on Friday morning.
The jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s defence lawyer was arrested on Thursday night, under a court order.
Police escorted Siraj to his apartment on Friday morning, and proceeded to search the place where his office is located.
As he was being escorted back after the raid, Siraj gestured a number two with his hand and called to vote for Joint Opposition’s candidate in Sunday’s poll. He further noted that ‘this is ending’.
According to his lawyer Ibrahim Shiyam, police seized ‘some documents, a pen drive and a hard disk’ in the raid. He added that they were seized for the investigation against Siraj, where he has been accused of issuing statements, citing Adeeb, with baseless allegations against incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.
Siraj published a number of statements from his most high-profile client last week, with various allegations against incumbent President Abdulla Yameen including sorcery.
While Siraj was arrested over these statements, his arrest order accuses him of spreading ‘fake news’ regarding state institutions and using ‘vulgar’ language in said statements.
September 20, 2018
An opposition government would immediately free the two jailed top court judges, opposition alliance presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih vowed Thursday on the eve of the crunch elections.
The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.
Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before state of emergency was declared.
Chief justice Abdulla Saeed along with top court judge Ali Hameed facing four separate charges which includes terrorism after being accused in the plot to overthrow the government were convicted of abuse of power to influence lower court judges and sentenced to one year, six months and one day in prison in June.
September 13, 2018
Former Deputy Prosecutor General, Hussain Shameem, has been suspended for a period of three months on Thursday.
According to a statement released by the Department of Judicial Administration (DJA), Shameem was suspended due to a tweet on his official account.
Shameem was summoned to DJA on Thursday morning to take his statement.
After questioning, his actions were deemed unlawful by the Judiciary Panel of the Supreme Court.
This is the third time Shameem is being suspended. He was first suspended for two years in 2015 and soon after that, he was again suspended earlier in 2018.
While his suspension is effective immediately, he is currently the lawyer for several high-profile local politicians including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his son Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon.