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"Judge Ali Hameed took MVR 3.4 mln in bribes"

Farah Ahmed
12 February 2018, MVT 09:33
The four individuals being accused of bribery and conspiracy to overthrow the government: (From Left) Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed and Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed --
Farah Ahmed
12 February 2018, MVT 09:33

Maldives Police Service, in an abrupt press conference held Sunday night, claimed that MVR 3.4 million was found in a bag that belonged to the jailed Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed.

Superintendent Ahmed Shifaan revealed that the police had uncovered MVR 150,000 and USD 215,000 in the bag that allegedly belongs to the judge.

Shifaan also said that there was evidence that indicated former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom – who has been charged with exerting undue influence on the judiciary and bribing judges in an attempt to stage a coup – had “helped” Judge Hameed and his family in various ways.

“We have evidence to prove that Judge Hameed bought a flat using this bribe money,” Shifaan claimed. “Our investigation also found out that a big local business firm had given USD 2.4 million to the judge as a helpful loan.”

Many other illicit activities that could incriminate several high-profile politicians were also discovered during the police’s investigation into the alleged bribery cases of the recently detained Supreme Court Justices, Superintendent Shifaan claimed.

As such, a lot of evidence that could implicate Gayyoom’s son Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon for bribery was uncovered from a box that was confiscated from the Gayyoom residence in the capital Male when it was raided during his arrest on February 5.

Further, in the raids that commenced after the former president’s arrest, a black briefcase was also discovered from his employee and close ally Fathmath Najuma’s house – though whom this evidence would implicate was not specified.

While the police had initially charged the two apex court judges, Gayyoom and Saeed – who were all arrested shortly after the President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on February 4 – the police announced that four more are being investigated for giving or accepting bribes in an attempt to overthrow the government

The eight individuals being charged for this crime are: former President and incumbent president’s half-brother Gayyoom, Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed, Judge Ali Hameed and his wife Fathmath Nasira, Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed, opposition Jumhoory Party’s leader Qasim Ibrahim’s son Siyadh Qasim, MP Faris and Machangoalhi-South MP Abdullah Sinan. Dhangethi MP Ilham is also wanted for questioning in relation to the charge.

Meanwhile, the police had claimed that many of these individuals had purchased homes in different parts of the world, using the alleged bribe money.

The crackdown on the opposition leaders came after top court on February 2, ordered the release of all political prisoners, and annulled its previous ruling on parliament floor-crossing and reinstated 12 MPs who were ousted. Since then, after the state of emergency was declared, the court had overturned its decision to release the political prisoners, and also gave the judicial watchdog Judicial Service Commission (JSC) the authority to investigate the top court.

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