Man fined MVR8,000 over ‘white underwear protest’
The Rasdhoo island magistrate court has fined a man MVR8,000 (US$520) for snatching back from the police a large pair of white underwear hung outside the courthouse as part of a protest in September 2013.
The Rasdhoo island magistrate court has fined a man MVR8,000 (US$520) for snatching back from the police a large pair of white underwear hung outside the courthouse in September 2013.
The white underwear was a reference to Justice Ali Hameed’s infamous sex tapes. It became a symbol of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s protests against the Supreme Court’s intervention in the 2013 presidential polls.
Some 14 people were arrested on the island of Rasdhoo in Alif Alif atoll on September 25, 2013, during clashes with the police, who were dispatched to remove the two-foot-long underpants.
Ahmed Kamal was found guilty yesterday of snatching a police evidence bag in which the underwear was kept after it was confiscated.
He was charged with obstructing police duty. Kamal had pleaded not guilty but the magistrate court convicted him based on the prosecution’s witness testimony.
Kamal’s lawyer Nazim Abdul Sattar said his client did not wish to appeal the verdict.
The underwear prop was hung on a rope strung across the street in front of the magistrate court.
Charges were also filed against another man from Rasdhoo following the confrontation with the police.
Moosa Naeem Hussain was accused of entering the island’s police station and assaulting a police corporal. A hearing of his trial took place yesterday.
The 14 people arrested from Rasdhoo over the underwear were held in remand detention for 15 days at the time. The High Court also upheld the remand order upon appeal.
Lawyers had claimed at the appellate court that the youngest detainee was beaten by the police after his arrest.
Ibrahim Nishan, who was 19 at the time, was alleged to have been beaten while he was handcuffed and lying face down on the floor.
The judicial watchdog body in June 2014 meanwhile cleared Justice Hameed of misconduct, citing lack of evidence and the police’s failure to confirm the identity of the man in the sex tapes.
The spy cam footage showed a man closely resembling Hameed engaging in sexual relations with three prostitutes in a Sri Lankan hotel room.
The room and date stamp in the sex tapes appeared to be the same as that in previously leaked footage of Hameed meeting local businessman Mohamed Saeed, the director of ‘Golden Lane.’
In that video, Hameed asserted that he was one of the then-Progressive Party of the Maldives presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen’s “back-ups”.
Hameed is heard saying that his stand was “to do things the way Yameen wants”.
Following the scandal, Hameed was one of the four justices forming the majority in the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the initial first round of the 2013 presidential election.
In January 2015, he was appointed to the Judicial Service Commission. Hameed now chairs the oversight body for the judiciary.