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Arrested top court judges accepted millions in bribes: Police

Farah Ahmed
07 February 2018, MVT 17:21
Supreme Court judge Ali Hameed (L) receiving credentials from President Abdulla Yameen (R) at the presence of Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed (C). PHOTO / PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Farah Ahmed
07 February 2018, MVT 17:21

Maldives Police Service has declared that Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed, Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed, Judicial Service Administrator Hassan Saeed and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom were arrested for accepting bribes and conspiring to overthrow the government.

At a brief press conference held Wednesday, the acting Police Commissioner Abdullah Nawwaz claimed there was evidence to show that these high-profile individuals had accepted million of Maldivian Rufiyaa as bribes.

The police had separately listed the cache of charges levied against the individuals arrested early on Tuesday night.

Former strongman Gayyoom is being charged with bribing lawmakers, exerting undue influence on the judiciary and bribing judges, and conspiring to illegally stage a coup, as well as inciting violence and calling the security forces to revolt against the government.

Witness statements to convict Gayyoom have already been acquired, and the police are still working on gathering more evidence to support the claims, the acting police commissioner revealed.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Saeed is being charged with accepting bribes and influencing court verdicts, exerting undue influence in his capacity as Chief Justice and attempting to stage a coup, and deliberately impeding the systematic functioning of criminal proceedings and the state.

Statement to support the state’s claims against Saeed have also been collected, Nawwaz said.

Similar charges were raised against Judge Ali Hameed including, accepting bribes and influencing court verdicts, as well as using his designation to alternate the outcome of a case, and deliberately impeding the systematic functioning of criminal proceedings and the state.

Nawwaz revealed that the police had already uncovered large sums of cash that could implicate the judge.

Judicial Service Administrator Saeed, who was also arrested on Tuesday from the Supreme Court, is being charged with influencing and bribing judges and making profits from bribe money.

Nawwaz said that large sums of cash were found in Saeed’s home, hidden underneath his mattress, and that there were more evidence to implicate him, though he did not reveal the details.

The police had initially claimed that Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed had purchased a flat from reclaimed suburb Hulhumale, which allegedly involved corruption. It also stated that similar cases were discovered regarding Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed.

President Adbulla Yameen had declared a state of emergency late Monday night and stormed the Supreme Court and raided former president and his half-brother Gayyoom’s house just hours after the declaration. Seven hours after the troops infiltrated the top court, the two judges and the judicial administrator, were arrested. Gayyoom and his son-in-law were also arrested the same night and taken to Dhoonidhoo Detention Center.

However, Judge Ali Hameed was brought to Male Wednesday morning to be treated, and a witness at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) claimed that he appeared to be unconscious when he was rushed to the emergency room.

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