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Maldives wants foreign help to investigate judges



The Maldives is seeking international help to investigate two of its top judges, a senior diplomat has said.

Two Supreme Court judges, who are under police investigation for accepting bribes and attempting to overthrow the government, have visited various countries and purchased expensive properties and items, the Maldives ambassador to Belgium and the European Union Ahmed Shiaan told Reuters.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed were arrested after the Supreme Court issued a ruling that freed nine opposition leaders and reinstated an opposition majority in parliament, a blow to the government of President Abdulla Yameen.

After refusing to enforce the ruling for days, Yameen declared a state of emergency and arrested Saeed and Hameed. The remaining three judges annulled the parts of the ruling that were unfavourable to the president.

“So far what we know is that they (the two judges) have made at least 12 visits in the past few months to various countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Netherlands and UK. And they have bought or acquired very expensive items (or) properties,” Shiaan said.

“So the investigation is not limited to Maldives. Hence, we would need assistance from other countries for the investigation,” he added.

Police reported that US$260,000 had been found in a bag belonging to Hameed and that a local business gave a US$2.4million loan to his family, alleging the money was used to buy an apartment.

Police have not revealed their evidence on Saeed, the chief justice.