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Govt rejects orders of JSC, High Court, PG and Chief Justice to release of Judge Abdulla
Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdullah Mohamed was arrested by the military last evening. In a joint operation of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Maldives Police Service, Judge Abdullah was arrested while he was at his residence with a group of judges.
The armed forces forced their way inside by kicking the door of Judge Abdullah’s residence open.
With the arrest of Judge Abdullah, the High Court ordered the release of the judge stating that the arrest was illegal and was done in opposition to the Judges Act. Prosecutor General and Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz also issued orders for his immediate release. However, the government has so far rejected the orders of the three authorities.
Prominent lawyer Shaheen Hameed told the media that the arrest of Judge Abdullah was conducted unlawfully. He said that the government has dishonoured and disregarded the constitution. He added that President Mohamed Nasheed’s regime is trying to intimidate the Judiciary and weaken the authority of the Judiciary.
In view of the arrest, the Chief Justice held an immediate meeting with the Judges of the High Court. Professional lawyers also joined this meeting and discussed on the steps to be taken against this illegal action of the military.
Judge Abdullah’s lawyer informed the media that the judge was taken to Girifushi. According to reports MNDF rejected the request of the Criminal Court to clarify the reason for the arrest.
Authorities and opposition are condemning the arrest. They state that MNDF has gone out of their jurisdictions in their arrest of the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) also issued a press release following the arrest of Judge Abdullah. JSC stated that it is not in the jurisdiction of the armed forces and the Police to take action against the Judges. In addition to this the commission stated that it is the commission which decides to take action against Judges’ misconduct.
Furthermore, JSC stated that so far the commission has not probed any investigation against any the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court on charges of ethical misconduct.
Arrest of Judge Abdullah caused public unrest. In the protests that followed, many were arrested and injured.
According to reports thugs alleged to be from the ruling party assaulted the prominent political figure Sandhaanu Ahmed Didi. He has been hospitalized following the attack. According media reports he suffered burn marks on his necks. He said that the mob who attacked him were MDP activists and that they were apparently very drunk.