The Maldives Nine (part two)

The Maldives Nine (part two)
May 08 18:28 2018

Nine people are on trial in the Maldives over an alleged plot to topple the government.

Their arrests, which have been condemned at home and abroad as politically motivated, followed a shock Supreme Court ruling that ordered the release of President Abdulla Yameen’s opponents and the reinstatement of opposition lawmakers who had been stripped of their seats.

Who are these nine and what are they alleged to have done?

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is charged with offering bribes to overthrow the government under the anti-terrorism law. He has pleaded for house arrest and has yet to respond to the terror charge because of hearing cancellations over his ill health. The former strongman, who ruled the country for decades, is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly refusing to hand over his mobile phone for a police investigation and is accused of hiding evidence. Gayoom has denied this charge. He was the first to be arrested after his half-brother, the president, declared a state of emergency on February 5. The 82-year old’s family and lawyers have requested for him to be moved to house arrest as his ailing health requires round-the-clock care.

Gayoom’s son Faris Maumoon, is accused of being the mastermind of the alleged coup and is facing charges of offering bribes to overthrow the government. He has denied the charge. The former lawmaker was re-arrested days before the Supreme Court ruling that reinstated 12 opposition lawmakers, having already spent six months in custody on charges of bribery and identity fraud.

Mohamed Nadheem, Gayoom’s son-in-law, is also charged with terrorism for attempting to overthrow the government. The criminal court changed the presiding judge in his case and police have summoned his wife Yumna over the alleged coup plot.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed is charged with unduly using his influence as chief justice to overthrow the government by putting national security and public safety at risk, and for taking millions of dollars in bribe to facilitate the coup plot by issuing the Supreme Court ruling. He was arrested after a military siege of the Supreme Court. He has been found guilty of obstructing state functions and sentenced to four months and 24 days in prison. He is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly refusing to hand over his mobile phone for a police investigation. He has been suspended from the bench and had his wages discontinued by the Judicial Service Commission after changes to the Judges Act. Saeed has denied all the charges against him.

Justice Ali Hameed is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes to facilitate the coup plot by issuing the Supreme Court verdict. He was arrested after a military siege of Supreme Court in the early hours of state of emergency. He is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly refusing to hand over his mobile phone for a police investigation. He has denied all the charges. Hameed has also been suspended and had his wages stopped. His misconduct case for an alleged appearance in three sex-tapes has been reopened.

Ilham Ahmed is charged with attempting an act of terrorism by overthrowing the government. He has denied the charge. He is accused of accepting bribes from Faris. Police began a manhunt for him a day before the Supreme Court ruling and relaunched it on February 9. He handed himself over to the police on February 12 after his wife was arrested and his family were harassed. His brother was also arrested. He was stripped of his parliamentary seat by a new anti-defection law after he left Yameen’s ruling party.

Abdulla Sinan is charged with attempting an act of terrorism by overthrowing the government. He is accused of accepting bribes from Faris. Police announced a manhunt for him a day before the Supreme Court ruling. He handed himself over to the police on February 9. He was stripped of his parliamentary seat by a new anti-defection law after he left Yameen’s ruling party.

MP Abdulla Riyaz, deputy leader of the opposition Jumhooree party and former police commissioner, was arrested on his way to a protest in early March during a state of emergency. He has been charged with terrorism for attempting to overthrow the government. The High Court had overturned an earlier acquittal on an obstruction charge and sentenced him to four months and 24 days in prison.

Former police commissioner Ahmed Areef is accused of plotting to overthrow the government and has been in custody since March 6. He was sacked after he tried to execute the Supreme Court order, and is accused of trying to incite unrest by making changes to police operations and bringing together selected individuals to confront police officers on duty.

write a comment

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Add a Comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.
All fields are required.