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Probe recommends censure of Supreme Court justices

The watchdog decided to advise the top judges.



The Judicial Service Commission on Monday deliberated a report submitted by a committee that probed complaints against three Supreme Court justices.

The report recommended advising or counselling Chief Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi, Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Justice Abdulla Areef, according to a press brief by the judicial watchdog.

In accordance with the law, the oversight body decided to give a 30-day period for the top judges to respond to the investigation report.

The commission did not reveal the nature of the complaints. The investigation was launched earlier this month.

The three justices had been signatories to a shock Supreme Court ruling in February 2018 that ordered the release of former president Abdulla Yameen’s jailed political opponents. The former regime reacted by declaring a state of emergency and the three justices rescinded the full bench order a day after the security forces stormed the court and arrested two of their colleagues, including former chief justice Abdulla Saeed.

The JSC –  a 10-member body tasked with investigating complaints and taking disciplinary action – is comprised of representatives from the executive, legislature and judiciary. The investigation of top judges comes after an overhaul of its membership in the wake of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Judicial reform was a key pledge of both President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his Maldivian Democratic Party’s campaign for April’s parliamentary elections. With its landslide victory, the MDP secured well above the two-thirds majority needed to remove judges from the bench.

Earlier this month, a JSC committee that was investigating suspended Supreme Court Justice Abdulla Didi recommended his dismissal. Didi is accused of regularly taking bribes, releasing suspects in return for favours and seeking government job opportunities for members of his family.