Govt won't hasten Nasheed's trial, says Pres

Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, Haveeru Online
Feb 16, 2014 - 08:29
  • President Yameen and Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed during the campaign rally in Male on Friday. HAVEERU PHOTO / MOHAMED WAHEED

President Abdullah Yameen on Friday said that he does not want to hasten the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Speaking at the ceremony held to launch the campaign for the Progressive Party of Maldives' (PPM) candidate contesting for the Maafannu-South constituency in the upcoming parliamentary elections, President Yameen said Nasheed must be tried for the alleged unlawful arrest and detention of chief criminal judge Abdulla Mohamed.

"If laws are implemented, [the arrest of Judge Abulla Mohamed] is an issue that should be tried in a court. But we don't want to rush the trial during our administration," he said.

Noting how the executive branch of the government can intervene in order to conclude the existing cases in the courts hastily, President Yameen stated that during the presidential election campaign, he had spoken about hastening the civil cases in the courts.

"We don't want to get involved in criminal proceedings," he said.

However, whilst the president was campaigning for the presidential election, President Yameen was highly critical of the delay in the proceedings of Nasheed's trial and had voiced out his concerns on various occasions.

In a campaign rally held in Funadhoo in August prior to his election, Yameen had stated that all citizens must be judged equally and that if criminal charges are not raised against Nasheed, then no citizen should be tried on criminal charges.

The president had also slammed civil organizations in his speech on Friday. He stated that international organizations that criticize the Maldivian judiciary, such as Transparency International, turn a blind eye on the fact that all proceedings of Nasheed's trial have been halted.

Furthermore, no international organization had raised concerns regarding the absence of a Prosecutor General, which has led to mounting untried criminal cases, said the president.

The proceedings of former President Nasheed's trial was halted after the judicial watchdog had suspended the chief judge of the High Court, Ahmed Shareef – who was also presiding over Nasheed's case.

When the trial came to a halt, Nasheed's attorneys had alleged that the bench of judges presiding over the Hulhumale Magistrate Court – where Nasheed was tried for the alleged unlawful arrest and detention of Judge Abdulla Mohamed – was formed unlawfully.

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