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Judge suspended for dropping ex-VP Adeeb's charges resumes work

Shahudha Mohamed
21 September 2020, MVT 16:58
A disciplinary issue against Criminal Court Judge Ismail Rasheed is currently underway. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
21 September 2020, MVT 16:58

Criminal Court Judge Ismail Rasheed resumed his duties after concluding his 60-day suspension, which the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) imposed on him for dropping the charges against former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

Claiming that the measure was taken to "maintain the judiciary's trust" and "prevent obstructions into his probe", JSC suspended the judge on disciplinary grounds, effective July 19, for the longest available period that a judge can be debarred without removal.

JSC had launched an investigation into the judge, stating that specifics concerning the disciplinary issue would be publicized following the conclusion of the investigation.

However, the commission failed to conclude the case or relay any instructions to Judge Rasheed by the end of the 60-day period.

As the presiding judge on Adeeb's case, Rasheed received strong backlash for his decision to drop the charges against Adeeb on the basis that the state had "wrongfully" entered a confessional agreement with the former VP.

In addition to noting that the acceptance of confessions acquired through coercion was forbidden as per the Constitution, the judge had said in his verdict that there was no guarantee that the police re-investigated the MMPRC case exempt from influence. He further stated that the government had pressed charges against Adeeb after the statute of limitations listed in the Criminal Procedure Code had passed.

Although Adeeb walked free with the Criminal Court's verdict, the state appealed the case at the High Court asserting that the verdict was in violation of the Criminal Procedure Act, confining the alleged "mastermind" behind the MMPRC scandal under state custody until the conclusion of his trial at the upper court.

According to Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, given the documentary evidence gathered against Adeeb, the PG Office could potentially charge the former vice president with over 150 separate charges that could land him over 800 years in prison.

On July 15, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s parliamentary representative for Male' City's Henveiru South constituency Hassan Latheef submitted a motion to the parliament, stating that the court's decision concerning Adeeb was reached in violation of standard procedures.

MP Latheef stated that allegations of corruption, bribery and undue influence were involved in Adeeb's case.