Male, February 5 (Avas): The Maldives Supreme Court delivered another major blow to the government on Sunday when it dismissed the government’s ‘legal and judicial’ concerns over its earlier order to release nine jailed opposition leaders including former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The government has thus far refused to comply with the order for release.
The Prosecutor General (PG) had submitted its concerns to the Supreme Court on Saturday separately on each case citing “legal and judicial” precedents.
The Supreme Court in a statement said there was no legal and judicial reason that would prevent the relevant authorities from implementing the order.
“As referred to in the order, there is nothing preventing the Prosecutor General from seeking a re-trial after the order has been implemented,” the statement read.
This comes as a major blow to the government which has been stalling on implementing the order since Thursday.
In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and deposed ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.
The others named in the order included former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb’s brother in law Hamid Ismail.
The court had also annulled its anti-defection ruling and ordered the country’s electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers disqualified over the ruling.
The Supreme Court said the anti-defection ruling was issued as a temporary solution to the constitutional dispute case filed by the State but insisted that the relevant authorities have failed to bring to effect an anti-defection law specified in the ruling.
The reinstatement of the 12 lawmakers disqualified by the country’s elections commission would mean that the united opposition would now have parliament majority which has the power to impeach the president.
Government, meanwhile, confirmed a Supreme Court led move to have incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom arrested.
Attorney General Mohamed Anil flanked by the army and police chief earlier Sunday had said the government has received information that a Supreme Court order to arrest president Yameen was imminent.
However, AG labelled the move as “unconstitutional” and the police and the army would reject any order by the Supreme Court to have the president arrested.
Chief of defence force Major General Ahmed Shiyam said the army would only act in accordance with the laws and constitution, adding that it would follow the legal advice of the attorney general.
“The army would not stand by watch while the Maldives goes into a crisis. The army would not obey an unconstitutional order,” Shiyam insisted.
Newly appointed police chief Abdulla Nawaz echoed the army chief’s statement.
The latest development comes amid accusations that the opposition had bribed some of the judges on the Supreme Court bench to influence the ruling.
Police are also investigating top court Judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator over bribery allegations.
(The featured image at the top shows Attorney General Mohamed Anil meeting the Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed)