Top opposition lawyer summoned for court inquiry

Top opposition lawyer summoned for court inquiry
May 14 17:55 2018

A top defence lawyer representing jailed Supreme Court justices was interrogated by the criminal court Monday morning.

Hisaan Hussain was summoned for an inquiry launched into comments she made to the press following the conviction of the country’s highest-ranking judges last week.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed were sentenced to more than a year in jail last Thursday after being found guilty of influencing official conduct. The sentence followed a rushed trial held behind closed doors.

Opposition-aligned lawyers have previously been barred from appearing in court over social media posts and critical remarks in the media.

Hisaan has also represented several high-profile defendants, including former president Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim. Both opposition leaders have gone into self-exile after widely criticised trials.

Nasheed called the summons “a blatant act of intimidation, and another assault on the rule of law.”

Husnu Suood – a former attorney general who was suspended for calling the chief justice’s trial “arbitrary” – advised the court to handle criticism better.

“Don’t be too sensitive to what lawyers say, but be more sensitive to the impact of what you do,” he tweeted.

“What you do may not necessarily be right. It’s not too late to learn from the recent experiences of your former bosses – [jailed or demoted judges] Abdulla Gazi, Bari, Ali Hameed & Saeed.”

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