PPM wants to remove Prosecutor General

PPM wants to remove Prosecutor General
November 10 15:20 2015

MPs of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) have submitted a no-confidence motion against Prosecutor General (PG) Muhthaz Muhsin.

MPs accused Muhsin of leaking confidential information to lawyers representing suspects arrested in connection to the September 28 blast on the president’s speedboat. Muhsin attempted to unduly benefit suspects facing criminal prosecution, they said.

PPM MPs Abdul Raheem Abdulla, Mohamed Waheed and Jumhooree Party MP Ilham Ahmed submitted the motion to the parliament’s independent institutions committee today asking for an inquiry into the allegations.

The oversight committee accepted the motion with eight votes in favour and formed a sub-committee to investigate the allegations.

The sub-committee has summoned Muhsin for 5:00pm today.

At the sub-committee meeting, MP Ilham alleged that Muhsin has “met politicians in secret.”

Ilham also said that state prosecutors have been “expressing their political opinion on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, in such a way that harms the integrity of the PG office.”

The only opposition MP on the subgroup, Rozaina Adam of the Maldivian Democratic Party, noted that the pro-government MPs have not provided any details to back up the “serious allegations.”

Muhsin is reportedly a close associate of impeached Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, who is under police custody on suspicion of links to the “Finifenma” blast.

The government says a bomb targeting President Abdulla Yameen caused the explosion. Yameen escaped unhurt.

Adeeb denies any links to the alleged assassination attempt. He is also facing prosecution on charges of weapons smuggling and bribing police intelligence officers.

Muhsin yesterday denied rumours of returning cases against Adeeb forwarded by the police for prosecution.

The constitution allows for the removal of the PG on the grounds of “misconduct, incapacity, or incompetence”. A simple majority of the 85-member house must approve a finding to that effect by a parliamentary committee.

The PPM and coalition partners control a comfortable majority of seats in the People’s Majlis. Adeeb was impeached last week with 61 votes in favour.

Muhsin, a former criminal court judge, was appointed for a five-year term in July 2014. In March this year, he oversaw the controversial prosecutions of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim.

After rushed trials that drew widespread international condemnation over apparent lack of due process, the pair were sentenced to 13 years and 11 years in prison, respectively. The imprisonment of the opposition leader and ex-defence minister triggered a prolonged political crisis.

A UN human rights panel has ruled that Nasheed’s imprisonment was illegal and politically motivated.

Meanwhile, the president has also ordered an audit of the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, a company under Adeeb’s watch that was in charge of leasing islands for tourism.

The anti-corruption watchdog is investigating corruption in the lease of numerous islands for resort development.

The government also says the security forces believe that weapons are missing from a large arms cache seized from an uninhabited island leased to a businessman linked to Adeeb.

President Yameen declared an unprecedented 30-day nationwide state of emergency last week, citing security threats posed by the missing weapons and explosives.

Additional reporting by Mohamed Saif Fathih. 

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