31 July 2012
STATEMENT BY THE LEGAL COUNSEL OF PRESIDENT NASHEED
It is with deep concern that we note that President Nasheed has been issued a summons to appear at police Head Quarters on the 2nd of August 2012 in connection with a criminal investigation at a time when the political and legal environment of the country is under unprecedented stress. Matters of major concern are as follows:
1. Former President Nasheed was selected as the official Presidential candidate of the Maldivian Democratic Party through party primaries held on 16 June 2012 by 32,305 votes (MDP membership is 48,393). The Waheed administration is currently demonstrating a clear pattern of abuse of power and tactics aimed at removing President Nasheed from the upcoming Presidential race.
2. President Nasheed resigned from office under duress. The factions of the police force, which are still in power, orchestrated the ouster of President Nasheed from office. It is notable that the law categorically requires that in the case of a former President, he/she be addressed as “former President.” However, the police, in their letter addressed President Nasheed as “Mr. Nasheed” and this shows Police’s extreme disrespect towards President Nasheed. Furthermore members of the security forces have openly issued death threats to President Nasheed.
3. The letter to summon President Nasheed is baseless and fails to state any specific charges. The letter refers indirectly to attacks on police, vandalizing of police property and claims that their observations have led them to believe President Nasheed is responsible for such events.
4. The Commission of National Inquiry, the body charged with investigating the events leading to President Nasheed’s resignation from office, is currently active in its ongoing investigation and is making rapid progress.
5. There have been numerous calls for President Nasheed’s arrest by prominent politicians within the ruling coalition, and numerous attempts have been made by the police to arrest him.
6. President Nasheed has been assaulted by the police on various occasions since his resignation from office, and these instances are still being investigated by the Police Integrity Commission.
In view of the above facts, we are extremely concerned for the personal safety of President Nasheed should he enter the police premises.
Upon assessment of the facts surrounding the summons, we conclude that this summons is an attempt by the Government to thwart the progress of the Commission of National Inquiry and former President Nasheed’s participation in upcoming elections.
In the absence of any specific criminal charge for which he is being investigated, and since the stated purpose of the summons is merely to question President Nasheed and obtain a written statement from him, and in consideration of the circumstances outlined above, we, the legal counsel representing President Nasheed, are of the opinion that the only safe course of action will be for President Nasheed to provide a written statement without physically entering the police station.
Legal Counsel of President Nasheed
Ms. Mariya Ahmed Didi LL.B (Hons), LLM, Barrister
Mr. Hassan Latheef LL.B (Hons), MA Crim.
Ms. HisaanHussain LL.B (Hons), LLM