The Criminal Court has decided to hold the latest hearing of the top court’s Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed behind closed doors.
The hearing scheduled for Sunday is regarding the judges’ charge of influencing official duties. The court had also held the previous hearing of the trial on April 12 behind closed doors.
However the court has not closed the doors on Saeed’s hearing regarding his charge of obstructing state functions. The hearing is to be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Chief Justice Saeed and Judge Hameed of the Supreme Court were arrested under the state of emergency declared by President Abdulla Yameen on February 5 after the court issued a shocking ruling four days prior calling to release political prisoners and reinstate unseated legislators. The two justices were arrested under accusations of bribery and staging a coup.
Saeed has since been charged with four criminal offences while Hameed has been indicted for three. Their charges include terrorism.
Following their arrests on February 5, the two justices were initially on suspension with pay. However their pays were cut after the state officially levied charges against them.
In the midst of their detention, the Judicature Act was amended to terminate judges by default should they be found guilty of criminal offences. Hence Saeed and Hameed face automatic dismissal from their posts, without parliament involvement, should they be convicted.
Moreover, the police had revealed at a previous press conference that they had obtained evidence that Villa Group, the conglomerate of the convicted Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim, had granted a “loan” of USD 2.4 million to Hameed and a “profit” of the same amount to Saeed. The police added that the two justices had later attempted to purchase expensive properties from abroad.