The president warned police against colluding with the opposition or judiciary, insinuating that law enforcement authorities were guilty of corruption.
Addressing a function to mark the 85th anniversary of the Maldives Police Service, President Abdulla Yameen criticized the former police chief Ahmed Areef who was dismissed after declaring he would enforce a February 1 Supreme Court ruling which ordered the release of political detainees.
“Space should not be given for politicians to achieve the ends they want using police,” said Yameen on Wednesday night. “This institution has to be based on stronger principles than that. The top management of this service needs to understand that the head of state is the president and not the judiciary or the leaders of the opposition.”
He also suggested police were already taking bribes.
“We have to question whether the price of the freedom and sovereignty of our Maldives is two or three million dollars when the institution wielding the most powerful responsibility of enforcing the law is influenced by money,” he said.
Yameen fired two police chiefs in as many days over plans to enforce the Supreme Court ruling.
Eight policemen, including former commanding officers of the specialist operations SWAT team and riot police, are in detention. They face charges of attempting to overthrow the government.
Areef will remain in detention until the end of his trial, also on the same charge.