Reference No: 109/10/2012
9 October 2012
MDP Says “No Chance” of Fair Trial for President Nasheed
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) believes there is no chance of a fair trial in the Maldives for former President Nasheed.
President Nasheed’s legal team has already complained about the extraordinary way the trial is being conducted.
President Nasheed’s legal team has said they have not received official notifications from the court about trial dates. Instead, they are finding this information out from local media.
President Nasheed’s legal team have also said that the way that the institutions are dealing with him violates his basic human rights, afforded to him by the Constitution of the Maldives.
Moreover, in an unprecedented move, the Judicial Services Commission, which includes President Nasheed’s political rivals (such as resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim MP) have hand-picked a panel of three magistrates to oversee the case, whose names have been kept secret. This is in breach of normal practice and in violation of the Judicature Act.
MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said:
“The coup has not been fully completed. There is no point bringing President Nasheed down in a police mutiny if he then goes on to win presidential elections 18 months later. To ensure its survival, Mr. Waheed’s regime needs to remove President Nasheed from the political equation and that is precisely what they intend to do.”
The UN Human Rights Committee, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, FIDH, and the Commonwealth have all have expressed concern over the independence and competence of the Maldivian judiciary and its ability to conduct a fair trial. They have all called for widespread reform of the judiciary.
President Nasheed was arrested yesterday morning at 9:45am by a heavily armed police SWAT team on the island of Fares-Maathoda, in the southern atoll of Gaaf Dhaal. He was taken to Dhoonidhoo island detention centre, where he is still under arrest. He is due to be taken to court at approximately 4pm local time today (Tuesday).
Hamid Abdul Ghafoor
Spokesperson, International Affairs