The Criminal Court, during Tuesday’s hearing, stated that the trial over charges raised against Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed for attempting to obstruct justice after the two judges did not comply to handing in their phones for police investigation, will take place.
For investigations and evidence for their case over terrorism charges, the two judges along with former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were asked to hand in their mobile phones. They did not comply and were subsequently charged with attempting to obstruct justice.
However, due to his health condition, the former president’s hearing was cancelled.
During Tuesday’s hearing, recently appointed Judge Hassan Najeeb took over for Judge Adam Areef, who was previously presiding over the case.
The Criminal Court ruled to proceed with the hearing over justice obstruction charges after CJ Saeed and Judge Hameed requested to reject the charges. The two judges had submitted 11 documents to the court, including requests to withdraw the obstruction charges, deny some state evidence and a request for defense witnesses to be made secret in the investigation report.
The requests, however, were denied by Judge Najeeb after the state retorted that there were no grounds to reject the charges raised against the judges nor the evidence presented to court by the state.
CJ Saeed had expressed disappointment in the judiciary after the presiding judge’s decision to deny all requests by the defense.
The chief justice along with Judge Hameed and Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed were arrested in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on February 1, which had ordered the release of nine political prisoners. While all three face various charges in connection with the incident that the government has declared a coup attempt, CJ Saeed is also indicted for obstructing the functioning of the state after he allegedly ordered to shut down the Supreme Court’s Government E-Letter Management System (GEMS) after the initial verdict was issued.