Male, February 1 (Maldives Independent): The Maldivian Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the immediat release of all high profile prisoners including the former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
In a brief but dramatic and unexpected statement issued Thursday night, the Supreme Court said the prisoners were free until fair trials could be conducted without undue influence.
It named Nasheed, Adeeb as well as MP Faris Maumoon, Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, the former prosecutor general Muhuthaz Muhusin, former magistrate Ahmed Nihan, Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.
“After considering the cases submitted to the Supreme Court about violations of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives and human rights treaties that the Maldives is party to, to conduct politically motivated investigations followed by trials where prosecutors and judges were unduly influenced, the Supreme Court has found that these cases have to be retried according to legal standards,” it said.
“Until these cases can be retried according to legal standards, 1 – Mohamed Nasheed, G. Kenereege; 2 – Mohamed Nazim, M. Seenukarankaage; 3 – Imran Abdulla, Malhaar, M. Kolhufushi; 4 – Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, H. Saamaraa; 5 – Muhthaaz Muhsin, Rasmaage, Ga. Maamendhoo; 6 – Gasim Ibrahim, M. Maafannu Vilaa; 7 – Ahmed Faris Maumoon, M. Kinbigasdhoshuge; 8 – Ahmed Nihan, Venus, Ga. Maamendhoo, 9 – Hamid Ismail, M. Shoora Manzil, should be freed immediately in order to facilitate the retrial and investigation of the cases according to law.”
The Supreme Court also terminated its contentious anti-defection ruling, which stated that floor-crossing lawmakers would be ousted from the parliament.
The court overturned the Elections Commission’s declaration last year that 12 lawmakers had lost their seats in parliament.
A spokesman for the Maldivian Democractic Party welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying it was “a death knell for President Yameen’s corrupt and criminal dictatorship.”
(The featured image shows the sentenced former President Mohamed Nasheed)