Judge contests suspension at civil court

Judge contests suspension at civil court
February 29 13:25 2016

A top judge indefinitely suspended for alleged criticism of appointments to the High Court has challenged his suspension at the civil court.

Hassan Saeed, the chief judge of the family court, was suspended by the Judicial Services Commission last week over a complaint that he had accused High Court Judges Abdulla Didi and Sujau Usman of being the “most corrupt judges in the world.”

Didi, who now heads the High Court, and his colleague Usman are under fire for their involvement in the jailing of former President Mohamed Nasheed last year. They were appointed to the appellate court in June.

Saeed’s petition has been accepted by the civil court, an official said.

According to local media reports, Saeed argued that the JSC had not provided him the opportunity to respond to the charges prior to his suspension.

Saeed had also noted that Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed was never suspended despite a charge of corruption, local media said. He went on to argue that his suspension, was therefore, unfair and discriminatory, local media report.

Hameed, who now heads the JSC, was charged with corruption in 2014 for billing the state after he transferred credit from his phone to other private numbers. The case is stalled with the criminal court claiming case documents were destroyed in a coffee spill.

The JSC also failed to take action against Hameed despite a sex scandal over videos that appear to show the judge fornicating with foreign women. The JSC closed the file later citing insufficient evidence.

The civil court has previously overturned disciplinary action by the JSC, notably when it penalised former Chief Judge of the criminal court Abdulla Mohamed for political statements in a televised interview.

Abdulla was transferred to the family court on February 21.

The JSC last week suspended Magistrate Ahmed Latheef of Baa Atoll pending an investigation.

Meanwhile former civil court Judge Mariyam Nihayath resigned in December after the JSC suspended her over a complaint. She is now the assistant prosecutor general.