The criminal court has indefinitely barred three government-aligned newspapers, a day after court officials forced reporters to delete photos of Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf from their cameras.
Reporters from Haveeru Online, V News and Avas were prohibited from observing trials today, but were not given a reason for the suspension.
A criminal court spokesman declined to comment.
According to V News and Haveeru, the suspension came after their photographers took a photo of Bari, who now heads the criminal court, on Monday.
Journalists from the state broadcaster Public Service Media, CNM and Raajje TV have also been suspended previously on a variety of charges.
Court officials have regularly reprimanded reporters for “unfair coverage” of trials involving leading politicians.
Meanwhile, Bari had lodged a complaint with the police last month alleging a man had threatened him by taking a photo of him. Top footballer Assad ‘Adubarey’ Ali was arrested in the early hours of February 21 over the incident.
Assad remains in custody.
Bari, who is under fire for his involvement in the controversial jailing of four opposition politicians, had ordered the police to press contempt of court charges against Assad, a member of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party.
The judge had sentenced Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla to 12 years in jail on a terrorism charge in mid-February, and was part of a three-judge panel that had sentenced former President Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in a widely criticized trial last year.
The same three-judge panel had also sentenced former defence ministers Mohamed Nazim and Tholhath Ibrahim to 11 years and 10 years in jail, respectively.