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Didi files official complaint against 5 JSC members

JSC member Hisaan Hussain vows judicial reform will continue



Under-fire Supreme Court Justice Abdulla Didi has submitted an official complaint against five members of the Judicial Service Commission after the watchdog suspended him last week.

The JSC is investigating Didi after it was alleged he took a US$ 1 million bribe in 2015 to sentence former president Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in jail.

A source inside the judiciary told the Maldives Independent that Didi is also being investigated for allegedly receiving money from the $90 million embezzlement of resort acquisition fees by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation corruption.

In a letter received by police on Sunday night, Didi made an official complaint against half of the 10-member commission, on which Nasheed sits, a police spokeswoman said.

“The police are doing the necessary work to determine if the complaint [by Didi] requires a criminal investigation,” she said.

Didi’s suspension led to a fight between the JSC and the Supreme Court after the top court lifted his suspension within just 24-hours.

However, five of the seven JSC members present at a meeting on Thursday night voted to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision.

Meanwhile, JSC member Hisaan Hussain vowed that reform of the judiciary would continue come what may.

“We’ve stood steadfast in this course in far worse conditions. Arrests, threats of arrest, suspensions, summons, investigations, harassment and every other intimidation trick under the sun. We didn’t give up then. Judicial reform is imperative whether [the] Supreme Court likes it or not,” Hisaan tweeted.

Civil Court Judge Hathif Hilmy also laid into the Supreme Court.

“We judges got our opportunity to reform the judiciary before. Now the people of this country have given the responsibility to reform the judiciary to parliament and institutions trusted by parliament. I do not see anything the judges can do to help in the reform process other than to just stay quiet,” Hathif wrote on his Facebook account.

According to media reports, the alleged US$1 million bribe paid to Didi was deposited in his wife’s US dollar bank account in Malaysia. Ghaniya Abdul Ghafoor is the Maldivian deputy ambassador to Malaysia.

While Didi categorically denied any personal wrongdoing, he did not deny that the money was deposited in his wife’s bank account.

“I deny these false accusations in the newspapers, and assure [you] that there is no undeserved money in bank accounts belonging to me or people related to me,” he said.

Didi was promoted to the Supreme Court in June 2018 after two justices were removed from the bench.

Before his promotion to the top court, Didi was chief judge of the High Court, an appointment he took up in February 2016.

The JSC was established to promote the separation of powers and in particular, judicial independence in the Maldives. It has the power to investigate complaints about judges and to take disciplinary action against them, including recommending their dismissal.