Maldives' judicial watchdog will meet to decide on the allegations of corruption and political influence exposed by the new Al Jazeera documentary.
Created by the Emmy and BAFTA winning Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the documentary titled ‘Stealing Paradise’ contains leaked documents and text messages derived from three mobile phones which belonged to the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.
The evidence uncovered by the Doha based broadcaster reveal that senior judges have received money and luxury flats and meet regularly with the president and his deputy, who meddle in high-profile cases and judicial appointments.
In one text message, the former prosecutor-general declares absolute loyalty to Adeeb and promises "no one can touch" him.
A series of text messages exchanged between controversial supreme court judge, Ali Hameed and the then VP suggests that he regularly received money throwing his integrity into question.
"We will remain soldiets till the mossion is over in 2018 ! Or 2023 ? Hah! hah ! Hah !" (sic), Judge Hameed assures Adheeb.
The text messages show the president and his deputy spent six months working to save Judge Hameed from being debarred after he was embroiled in a sex scandal. After they succeeded, the judge wrote:
"My dear brother you and HEP did more than enough to me and my family . I will be always greateful sir !" (sic).
Secretly filmed confessions of former aides of Adheeb also allege that President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had personally dictated his rival and former president Mohamed Nasheed’s prison sentence.
Judicial Service Commission spokesperson said its members will meet to decide on a course of action over the allegations made against the judiciary in the Al Jazeera documentary.
But the spokesperson did not specify a date of the sit-down.
According to text messages and secretly filmed confessions included in the documentary, president Yameen, through his former deputy had siphoned off millions in state funds, hijacked state institutions and bribed state officials including judges, lawyers and parliamentarians to exert his authoritarian power over the whole country.
Former aides of the now jailed ex-VP Adheeb had gone on record to say that they had personally delivered “bags of cash” to the president himself.
Maldives government have denied the allegations, labeling the documentary as biased and in pursuance of an already declared agenda against the government.