Connect with us

Local

Judiciary Hijacked: Lawyers and former senior Judges voice concern on current political influence on the judiciary

MNN

Published

on

A group of lawyers and former senior judges has held a press conference to voice their concerns on the political influence on the judiciary by the current administration. The press conference was joined by former High Court Chief Judge Shujau Usman, former Criminal Court Judge Hassan Najeeb, Uz Moosa Fathuhee and several other notable lawyers. Several allegations were made against the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir, who was accused of offering inducements and influencing the judiciary under orders from incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Speaking at the press conference, the former Chief Judge of the High Court of Maldives, Shujau Usman stated that the current level of political influence on the judiciary is unprecedented and that the level of influence on the judiciary is unmatched even when compared to when the judiciary was under the Ministry of Justice under former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30 yearlong administration.

He also asserted that while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih pledged to reform the judiciary and to amend the current composition of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his administration has since day one, attempted to instill political influence on the judiciary. He stated that it is evident by the fact that the Judicial Administration Department was promptly brought under the control of the JSC.

He also noted that he had granted bail to MP Qasim Ibrahim and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom after discussion with the High Court judges, but former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom was not granted bail by the very same High Court Judges who cited that “the Maldivian jurisprudence does not have the concept of bail”.

Former Judge Shujau Usman revealed that he resigned due to mounting political pressure from key members of the current administration and the lack of freedom to function freely and fairly within the judiciary.

“I am convinced that there is immense political influence within the judiciary” ~ former Chief Judge of High Court Shujau Usman.

Former High Court Chief Judge Shujau Usman also addressed the recently leaked audio tapes of the Judges from the Criminal Court of Maldives. He stated that he had worked with Ali Adam since the early 1990’s. Judge Shujau Usman affirmed that he has known Judge Ali Adam for more than 22 years and that the voice heard in the audio is undeniably Judge Ali Adam’s. He also stated that he has known Judge Mohamed Sameer since they were classmates at the age of 13-14 years, and that it was definitely Judge Moahmed Sameer’s voice heard in the third leaked audio.

The leaked audio’s referred to by Judge Shujau Usman involves three of the five judges who presided over former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s case in the Criminal Court. They stated that they were “held hostage” and offered inducements by the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir and President’s Legal Counsel   Ahmed Abdulla Afeef to pass a guilty verdict against the former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Judge Ali Adam was heard saying in the audio that he and the rest of the judges were not even aware of what was written on the verdict and that it was all done by Judge Ali Rasheed who was promptly promoted to the Supreme Court of Maldives.

Former High Court Chief Judge Shujau Usman also made the startling revelation that the President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir had called him multiple times, urging him to pass verdicts according to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s instructions. The former Judge also stated that he once threw his phone out in anger after receiving multiple calls from President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir.

Former Criminal Court Judge Hassan Najeeb also spoke at the press conference. He stated that he had seen up close of what transpired behind the scenes at the Criminal Court regarding former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s case.

“The verdict passed on former Presidnet Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is unjust. This is a former President who has completed a five year term. If he cannot get justice, then the public has no chance either.” ~ Former Criminal Court Judge Hassan Najeeb.

He stated that while Judge Ahmed Hailam was initially presiding over former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s case, Judge Ahmed Hailam came into his cabin and talked regarding several matters. Judge Hassan Najeeb stated that he told Judge Ahmed Hailam that he had heard ruling party activist Husnu Al-Suood would be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Judge Hassan Najeeb revealed that Judge Ahmed Hailam then called President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir, referring to the latter by his nickname “Alipi”.

Judge Ahmed Hailam then allegedly asked “what is this? Is Husnu Al-Suood going to get appointed to the Supreme Court?”, to which President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir replied “ Don’t worry, you are guaranteed a seat on the Supreme Court bench as per our agreement”.

Former Criminal Court Judge Hassan Najeeb noted that such blatant inducements are symptoms of the current political influence on the judiciary, declaring that the current ruling coalition has the “judiciary hijacked”.

He also recounted on how his then junior Judge Ali Rasheed had once told him that “he shakes with anger when he sees the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and the Dharumavantha Hospital”, and that he “Hates the infrastructural developments brought about during President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s regime citing grounds of alleged corruption”.

Judge Hassan Najeeb then posed question on how such a biased individual can pass a free and fair verdict against the former President.

The press conference also saw the lawyers raising concern over the current situation faced by the judiciary. They stated that lawyers belonging to the law firms of JSC President MP Hisaan Hussein, PG Hussain Shameem and AG Ibrahim Riffath are threatening their clients by stating that “it’s our government, it’s our courts “and that the client will not win the case unless they represent the client at the courts.

They also stated that they are ready to give their testimony at a court of law to back up the statements they made at the press conference.

While the current administration or the Judicial Service Commission has not retorted to any of the allegations made at the press conference, public outrage has poured out against the current administration. Many are calling or the immediate resignation of the Adhaalath backed President’s Office Chief of Staff Ali Zahir and allegedly compromised judges and the members of the JSC.

COVID 19

The Chinese Ambassador is hopeful for the second shipment of the vaccine gifted from China to arrive in the Maldives soon.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Chinese Ambassador in the Maldives, Wang Lixin has said that she expects the second shipment of Covid vaccines from China to arrive in the Maldives soon. Her Excellency Wang Lixin said this in a tweet last week Tuesday after a meeting with Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

In this meeting with the health minister, it was discussed to strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries and work together as per the agreement between President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President of China, Xi Jinping. Discussions have been made to improve the health benefits between the 2 countries as well. On this note, the Chinese Ambassador has said that 4 there are 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm Vaccine on its way to the Maldives.

The first batch of vaccines donated by China was received at the beginning of this year with 2 lakh vaccine doses. After which, it was announced two months ago that 4 lakh doses were donated again by China. China is the one country that has donated the highest number of vaccine doses to the Maldives with a sum of 6 lakh vaccine doses to fight against Covid-19.

Continue Reading

Local

SAFF championship’s amended timetable with changes has been announced.

Avatar

Published

on

By

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), football tournament SAFF championship’s first match between Maldives and Nepal has been rescheduled to go on at night time, after the opening ceremony.

The schedule for the championship has been changed twice before as well. When the schedule has first released the dates given were from 1st-13th. But after review, the schedule was changed to abide by FIFA match day policies, giving enough days in between for the players to rest.

The government’s senior employees will be attending the opening ceremony event. The Maldives has previously won twice in this competition, which was in 2008 playing in Sri Lanka and in 2018 playing in Bangladesh. Both tournaments were won playing against India. The Maldives remains to be the competition defending champions, so the slogan for this year’s championship is “Thinvanah faharu miee ey faharu” which translates to “Third time is our chance”, aiming to win the championship cup for the third time.

Continue Reading

Local

A Bangladesh Airline to start flights from Bangladesh to Maldives.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Bangladesh’s biggest private airline the US- Bangla Airlines to has scheduled direct flights from Bangladesh to the Maldives.

US-Bangla Airlines flights will commence in November of this year. The airline will be traveling straight from the capital city of Bangladesh Dhaka city to Male’ city. It is reported that the scheduled flights will start in the middle of November with 4 flights per week. Bangladesh’s Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported that the flights used for this will be Boeing 737-800 flights.  That flight has a capacity of 164 persons.

US-Bangla Airline stated that it is an aim for the airline to have an easy way for persons who wish to travel to Bangladesh from the Maldives. And that this decision will help workers who are employed in the Maldives as well.

US-Bangla Airlines is working on having scheduled flights to Bangladesh from Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia as well. As of now, the airline has direct flights to Bangladesh from Dubai, Oman’s capital city Muskat, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Chennai, China, and Doha.

Continue Reading

Trending