Supreme Court orders Nasheed’s release in landmark ruling

Supreme Court orders Nasheed’s release in landmark ruling
February 01 22:37 2018

The Supreme Court has ordered the immediate release of high-profile prisoners including the former president Mohamed Nasheed and former vice president Ahmed Adeeb.

In a landmark statement issued Thursday night the Supreme Court said the prisoners were free until fair trials could be conducted without undue influence.

Hundreds of people poured onto the streets of the capital Malé, cheering, singing, chanting and waving flags as police started to gather near the crowds. Prayers were being recited at an opposition rally, with people saying: “The government is over Allah akbar.”

“I believe the wisest thing to do now is to resign,” the exiled Nasheed told RaajjeTV, referring to President Abdulla Yameen. “I will go to Malé. But I do not plan to go tonight.

“That’s not what I’m being advised by my party. As you know, we are in a united coalition, I am the president of the Maldivian Democratic Party, so I will move forward wisely with the advice of the party and the united parties,” he said.

The Supreme Court decision named Nasheed, Adeeb as well as MP Faris Maumoon, Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, the former prosecutor general Muhuthaz Muhusin, former magistrate Ahmed Nihan, Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

“After considering the cases submitted to the Supreme Court about violations of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives and human rights treaties that the Maldives is party to, to conduct politically motivated investigations followed by trials where prosecutors and judges were unduly influenced, the Supreme Court has found that these cases have to be retried according to legal standards,” it said.

“Until these cases can be retried according to legal standards, 1 – Mohamed Nasheed, G. Kenereege; 2 – Mohamed Nazim, M. Seenukarankaage; 3 – Imran Abdulla, Malhaar, M. Kolhufushi; 4 – Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, H. Saamaraa; 5 – Muhthaaz Muhsin, Rasmaage, Ga. Maamendhoo; 6 – Gasim Ibrahim, M. Maafannu Vilaa; 7 – Ahmed Faris Maumoon, M. Kinbigasdhoshuge; 8 – Ahmed Nihan, Venus, Ga. Maamendhoo, 9 – Hamid Ismail, M. Shoora Manzil, should be freed immediately in order to facilitate the retrial and investigation of the cases according to law.”

US ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Atul Keshap welcomed the ruling. “I urge the Government and security services to respect this ruling, which bolsters #democracy and #RuleOfLaw for all Maldivians,” he tweeted.

The court also reinstated the 12 MPs who were previously stripped of their seats to give the opposition coalition a majority in parliament, which has the power to impeach President Abdulla Yameen.

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whose son Faris is named in the ruling, said the decision must be enforced in its totality.

The police tweeted that they had decided to follow the Supreme Court ruling after seeking legal advice and had started work to enforce it.

Crowds at an opposition rally cheered and clapped when the police tweet was read out, with islanders urged to get in their boats and sail to the capital.

“The Supreme Court’s verdict effectively ends President Yameen’s authoritarian rule,” said the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party.


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  1. Michael Fahmy (not nickname)
    February 02, 01:16 #1 Michael Fahmy (not nickname)

    This is a great day for Maldives and Maldivians. The Supreme Court has decided to side with the people. It must have decided that the game is up and Yameen’s period is over.

    Yameen has over-reached his limits, and even put into his mouth more food than he can chew. Without Gayoom’s help, Yameen would not have come to power.

    Due to his own stupidity, Yameen has lost the support of Gayoom who is now working against him.

    Faris Maumoon’s detention and trials did not promote the interests of Yameen.

    Mohamed Nasheed is a popular figure in the Maldives and the world outside the Maldives. Giving Nasheed dose after dose of political persecution did not endear Yameen to anyone. It gave bad publicity to political Maldives.

    Tourist trade was coming under threat.

    The Saudi connection was replaced by a worse connection with China. Danger. Danger to Maldives.

    It looks like Yameen was going down and the Supreme Court did not want to fall down with Yameen.

    Maldives is not stupid. But it needs more education, more experience and more intelligence.

    The Supreme Court may not be able to give these things.

    But this is a good beginning.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Private Tourist
    February 02, 02:31 #2 Private Tourist

    At last Yameen’s influence over the Supreme Court has waned.

    This is an act of self preservation by the SC who can see Yameen’s dictatorship is unsustainable. However, they remain guilty of dubious legal judgements against the Election Body.

    This new judgement will not save them from eventual examination and justice. I suspect they will soon be leaving the Maldives for medical reasons.

    As this commentator has predicted watch out for Yameen also leaving for ‘routine’ medical treatment together with his family and cronies.

    This effectively is a vote of not just no confidence but impending impeachment of president Yameen.

    Its unlikely the the Police will seek re-trials of Nadheed or Adeeb. If do, this means Yameen has lost control over the police and army. Which means, in a nutshell, he is finished.

    The key actor is now Gayoom and whether or not he will under these new emerging circumstances honour his truce and partnership with Nasheed and hold the ship steady as new elections are prepared, or throw his lot in with the PPM regaining his lost leadership and assume effective de-facto Presidency. He could theoretically delay elections for a long time especially if he promises reforms. This would be unwise.

    However, if the SC are seeking desperate redemption they could rule President Nadheed’s ‘resignation’ was an unlawful coup and the subsequent elections in favour of Yameen also unlawful and invalid which, in effect, would mean Nasheed is still lawfully the President. He would most certainly be re-elected with fresh elections.

    It is possible Yameen may try a last gasp fight back and his only redress is to call another STATE OF EMERGENCY. This is especially more likely if the citizens of Male’ do not show restraint.

    If they do not they fall right back into Yameen’s hands which is obviously Nasheed’s immediate main concern.

    I would also advise Nasheed not to jump on the next flight to Male’… just yet.

    Interesting, historic and momentous times for the Maldivian People with the chance to be free of Tyranny.

    Reply to this comment
    • Frequent visitor
      February 03, 21:04 Frequent visitor

      Whilst I am joyfull at the release of these prisoners, I would advise caution until Yameen has left he country, until the ther eis always a chance he will have one last grab at remaining in power, which I fear would result in violance and blood shed.

      Reply to this comment

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