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JSC summons Criminal Court chief judge

05 November 2019, MVT 09:56
Chief Judge Ahmed Hailam. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
05 November 2019, MVT 09:56

Judicial Services Commission (JSC) summoned Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Ahmed Hailam, early Tuesday over a controversial greeting he shared on Victory Day.

The chief judge came under fire over posting an image to a Viber group chat of the lower court, which depicted President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former President Mohamed Nasheed, along with the orchestrators of the November 3, 1988 coup, in chains. The illustration showed the chained men being pulled along by the martyr and national hero, Hussain Adam.

Amidst the public censure after the image was leaked on social media, JSC announced its decision to investigate Judge Hailam for a disciplinary issue. The commission has also been probing another disciplinary case against Hailam since July.

A screenshot of the controversial Victory Day greeting image Chief Judge Ahmed Hailam shared on a Criminal Court Viber group chat.

While ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) harshly criticised the judge, calling for his immediate suspension, opposition People's National Congress (PNC) spoke out in his defence, claiming it was a "fake message".

However, Judge Hailam has since admitted that he was the one who posted the greeting, and apologised to President Solih and former President Nasheed. The judge stated that he only shared the post after seeing the orchestrators of the 1988 coup, Abdulla Luthfee and Sagaru Ahmed Nasir, and that he did not realise the president and former president were among the other figures in the image.

While Hailam was summoned to JSC on Tuesday morning, the Criminal Court has scheduled the verdict hearing for former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's money laundering trial for 1300 hours this afternoon. Hailam is the judge presiding over the case.

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