Axed Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef had made preparations to enforce the landmark Supreme Court ruling on February 1 which ordered the release of several high-profile political detainees, Maldives Police Service revealed Sunday.
At a press conference held to disclose information regarding the individuals that were arrested during the recent 45-day state of emergency in Maldives, police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Ahmed Shifaan claimed that Areef already had plans in place to enforce the order, and that he had even tasked some police officers with duties to execute the apex court order.
“We’d like to note that the former police commissioner Areef had planned ahead and he brought several changes to the administrative structure of the police before the Supreme Court verdict was out. These changes were not in line with the police’s code of conduct,” Shifaan said.
Shifaan, however, did not divulge the details of the changes Areef had brought to police’s internal structures.
The police spokesperson had also claimed that there was a confrontation between a group of officers and the riot police that were dismantling opposition rallies on February 1. Shifaan said that these officers have since been arrested and that they are currently under investigation.
Maldives Police Service was the first institution to back the Supreme Court verdict on February 1, which ordered the release of nine political prisoners, including former President Mohamed Nasheed and ex-Vice President Ahmed Adheeb. The top court also reinstated the 12 lawmakers who were unseated and nullified its previous verdict on floor-crossing.
Just hours after the police announced via Twitter that it would enforce the verdict, at a government press conference held in response to the unprecedented ruling, Attorney General Mohamed Anil had announced Areef’s dismissal, saying that President Abdulla Yameen had tried to contact him after the ruling and that his phone calls were unanswered, and stated that the president was “dismayed” by the police’s decision.
Areef is being charged with attempting to orchestrate an act of terrorism.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, his son MP Faris Maumoon and son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem, Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed, Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed and a few ruling party lawmakers who defected to the opposition, also have terrorism charges levied against them for their involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow the government.