The Supreme Court has suspended the lawyers representing two more suspects in the September 28 explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat.
Lawyers Ali Shah and Ali Ibrahim are temporarily prohibited from appearing at any Maldivian court because of a pending police investigation, according to a Supreme Court statement on Sunday night.
The apex court, which has seized authority to regulate the legal profession recently, has also suspended two of former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s lawyers. A third lawyer was barred from prison visits by the police.
Adeeb, in custody for three weeks now, appears to be the primary suspect in the blast, which the government insists was caused by a bomb, despite contradictory forensic findings.
Shah told the The Maldives Independent that he has not been officially informed of the decision.
“I don’t even know why I have been suspended and what matter the police are investigating,” he said.
“This will affect my work quite a bit as I have a lot of pending cases in the courts. I also have 20 clients that I am representing pro bono. I am certain that I have not violated any laws, I’m innocent.”
Ibrahim, too, said that he has not been notified of the suspension.
Both lawyers declined to reveal the identities of their clients.
At least a dozen individuals are in custody over the boat blast. These include Adeeb, his relative and influential businessman Hamid Ismail and three soldiers.
Yameen escaped unhurt from the blast, but his wife and two aides were hurt. He declared a state of emergency on November 4, citing fear of imminent attacks because of weapons missing from the state armoury, but lifted it six days later.
In the emergency decree, a constitutionally guaranteed 14-days of notice for impeachment was controversially shortened to seven days, and Adeeb was impeached in an unannounced vote.
The Supreme Court earlier this month threatened action against lawyers “who spread falsehoods and undermine public trust and confidence in the judiciary.”
Additional reporting by Hassan Mohamed