Criminal Court's Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed has been arrested and taken to Dhoonidhoo detention facility against a High court order last night.
The High Court order was issued when Judge Mohamed filed a case in High Court after the police summoned him at 8.30 last night.
The order instructed Judge Abdulla not to obey the police summon till the matter can be investigated further.
However, reports suggest that Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) had “stormed” into Judge Abdulla’s house and taken him into custody.
Following his arrest, the high court bench and lawyers had met with the Chief Justice to express concern of the arrest and the blatant disregard of a court order by the police.
Soon after, the high court had issued an order to the MNDF for the immediate release of Judge Abdulla, but the MNDF had refused to accept the order.
Subsequent to the refusal, the Supreme Court had convened and issued an order which stated that arrest of Judge Abdulla was in direct violation of Maldives Judiciary law and ordered the immediate release of the criminal court’s chief judge.
The MNDF had also refused to accept the Supreme Court’s order by asking them to deliver it during official hours.
Meanwhile Vice President of Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed had also been summoned to the police last night making it his fourth police summon in five days.
After he was summoned, Dr. Jameel was arrested and sent to Dhoonidhoo detention center again last night. Dr. Jameel who had also been taken to Dhoonidhoo the previous night was later released following an order by the criminal court which was issued by Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Following his arrest opposition parties had gathered near the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) building and called for the immediate resignation of Home Minister Hassan Afeef and Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh.
The protests turned heated when opposition members clashed with members of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the police. Reports suggest that some protestors sustained injuries whilst others were taken into custody.
Member of the Judiciary, opposition parties and the Human Rights Commission have strongly condemned the actions of the MNDF and expressed grave concern for the repeated disregard of court orders by law enforcement authorities.