The Maldives Supreme Court has accused Johann Kriegler, the retired South African Justice conducting an assessment on Maldivian judiciary, of threatening the apex court’s justices.
Kriegler, who was hired by the Attorney General’s Office, is meeting with stakeholders and institutions connected to the judiciary in an attempt to identify the challenges faced by the criminal justice system and how it is governed.
Kriegler’s assessment is the new administration’s first step towards judicial reform.
After Kriegler met with members of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices accused the former South African justice of threatening them.
“Instead of discussing the challenges of [the] judiciary, Kriegler threatened the judges, stating they should retire before the government forces their hand,” the statement said.
“Kriegler threatened [the] judiciary and its judges by stating that he will recommend sacking all the judges without exception, in his report to the Attorney General’s Office.”
The statement claimed Kriegler was predisposed against the members of the Supreme Court.
“His judgment was based upon false information and his heart was filled with hatred and uncertainty towards the judiciary,” the court said.
“Threatening a power of the state or a state body or institution by a person working in a professional context as a consultant is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath condemned the Supreme Court’s statement in an interview with local media.
“There is no doubt that the court’s gripped by undue influences. The people of this country and the international community has no confidence in [the] Maldivian judiciary. A statement like that will not make people trust them,” he told Mihaaru.
Kriegler, who served eight years as a Constitutional Court justice in South Africa, will submit his report on August 29.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court unveiled its own plans for judicial reform.
Ahead of the polls, Chief Justice Didi criticised the MDP’s plans to curtail the powers of the Supreme Court.