26 November 2018, MALE: The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) welcomes today’s Supreme Court judgment, quashing President Mohamed Nasheed’s 2015 conviction for “terrorism” in relation to the 2012 detention of Criminal Court judge Abdulla Ghazee.
The Supreme Court ruled that the judge’s detention was carried out by the Maldives National Defence Force for security purposes, under powers vested in them under the Armed Forces Act. The bench stated there was no evidence to suggest that the judge’s arrest was carried out, outside the ambit of the law. The Supreme Court said that the judge’s detention did not amount to terrorism
The Supreme Court also stated that the Criminal Court should never have heard, or proceeded with, the case against President Nasheed in the first place.
The MDP has always maintained that President Nasheed’s arrest, trial, conviction, and detention were politically motivated.
In 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that President Nasheed’s trial was flawed and politically motivated, and he should be immediately freed and afforded compensation. In 2018, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee issued a legally binding ruling to the same effect, but the regime of former president Abdulla Yameen refused to abide by both rulings.
The explosive 2016 Al Jazeera documentary, Stealing Paradise, exposed how President Yameen bribed judges with “bags full of cash” to influence the trials of his political rivals. The documentary revealed that President Yameen personally dictated the length of President Nasheed’s prison sentence.
President Nasheed’s legal counsel Hisaan Hussein said:
“I am pleased by today’s judgment, which proves that President Nasheed should never have been arrested, let alone convicted of terrorism.
“President Nasheed’s entire trial was a politically-motivated sham. It is appalling that an innocent man was unjustly forced to spend a year in jail, 35 months’ in exile, and was prevented from standing for political office.”