Male, March 21 (AVAS): Maldivian prosecutors on Monday formally charged former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and fellow judge Ali Hameed with “terrorism” in connection with the alleged plot to overthrow the Abdulla Yameen government.
Prosecutors slapped similar charges against four Members of Parliament. They are: jailed former President Gayoom’s lawmaker son, Faris Maumoon; Jumhoory Party (JP) Deputy Leader Abdulla Riyaz; Dhangethi lawmaker Ilham Ahmed; and South-Machchangoalhi lawmaker Abdulla Sinan.
According to a statement released by the Prosecutor General’s office, the four who remain in custody under the State of Emergency had influenced sitting judges and bribed fellow MPs to back their plan to overthrow the government.
Prosecutor General’s office further said that Gayoom, Saeed and Hameed have also been charged with obstruction of justice. They had refused to hand over their mobile phones to the police.
The two top court judges along with now jailed Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed are also facing bribery charges.
Chief justice Saeed is facing a fourth charge of impeding the functioning of the state by allegedly blocking the receipt of three letters sent by President Abdulla Yameen shortly after the top court’s contentions ruling on February
The Chief Judicial administrator is facing the same charge for refusing to come for police questioning.
The document shows that the beneficiaries of the payment were judge Hameed’s son, Chief justice Saeed and the ex-wife of the Chief Judicial Administrator, the statement said.
The policed had verified the signatory of the document to be Siyad Gasim while his fingerprints were also found on the document.
The PG’s office said the Supreme Court order on February 1 was a premeditated plot to overthrow the government.
The island nation has been embroiled in political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.
President Abdulla Yameen on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.
As the state of emergency expired, President Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.
Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by President Yameen in the letters he had sent to the Chief Justice hours before state of emergency was declared.
In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the now rescinded order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and Gayoom’s lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.
Former Prosecutor General Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb’s uncle Hamid Ismail make up the rest of the list.
(The features image at the top shows former Supreme Court judge Ali Hameed, former President Abdul Gayoom and and former Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed)