‘Clash’ of the Titans; Judge Abdulla VS. President Nasheed

Judge Abdulla Mohamed (left), President Mohamed Nasheed (right)

 

Reading the news article on last night’s trial proceedings on Dhivehi Online, such elaborate romanticism was my gut reaction. Judge Abdulla Mohamed is made out to be as innocent as a new born baby’s bum, the poor victim, whose story bears telling over & over again, while President Nasheed’s actions have to be shown to be that of the preposterous ruler, who jailed him and severed a sitting judge of his rights. Oh the blasphemous nature of it all!

The allegations of misconduct whatsoever against the judge which the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), the commission entrusted with overseeing the affairs of the judicial sector, and other governing authorities, were unable to investigate, for the lack of a better term, don’t seem to deserve a mention. Responsible journalism, a concept Maldivian media would rather avoid altogether, requires that the countless allegations against Judge Abdulla Mohamed mentioned, & why it got to this point.

In the spirit of that, I’m going to highlight some of the wonderful ‘heroic’ acts that Judge Abdulla Mohamed has committed, in the name of serving justice for the people of the Maldive. I’ll say this time & yet again. The likes of Judge Abdulla Mohamed belongs behind bars for the rest of their natural life & in the deepest recesses of Hell in the Hereafter.

  1. One of the complaints against Judge Abdulla Mohamed stems from 2005, forwarded by the then Attorney General Dr. Hassan Saeed where it was said Abdulla Mohamed who presided over a case of child sexual abuse had ordered the victim to show the court what was done to her & this in front of the perpetrator. Copies of the letter exists, circulated over social media every now & then.
  2. Judge Abdulla Mohamed already had a criminal conviction when he was appointed a judge during President Maumoon’s tenure. The conviction was made during the time of Justice Minister Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed who is currently the Vice President of Maldives.
  3. By April 2009, there were a number of pending misconduct allegations against Judge Abdulla Mohamed pending without inquiry.
  4. On 27 July 2010, JSC announced removal of 32 names including Abdulla Mohamed, but on 28 July 2010 declared him to be fit to remain on the bench. JSC appointed member under Article 158(F) of the Constitution, Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman, walked out of a meeting in protest and announced on media that Judge Abdulla Mohamed did not meet the good character required of a sitting judge in Islamic Shariah and condemned JSC’s corruption.
  5. In February 2011, Abdulla Mohamed released an alleged murderer to “teach the health minister a lesson”, and in 24 hours the released committed a second murder, which in reality should’ve taught the public a lesson.
  6. On November 2011, JSC decided that Judge Abdulla Mohamed was in breach of good conduct, not fit to be on the bench, but refused to take action against him.
  7. On 16 January 2012, Maldives Police Service summoned Judge Abdulla Mohamed for questioning. However, Judge Abdulla Mohamed refused to appear, and instead petitioned the High Court to cancel the police order.
  8. MPs held responsible to hold JSC accountable, and to determine the legitimacy of JSC’s actions on article 285 and re-appointment of judges including Judge Abdulla Mohamed of the Criminal Court, who publicly boasted that there’d be no inquiry of JSC led protests against former President Nasheed calling for release of “Ablo Qaazee”.
  9. Records of Judge Abdulla Mohamed show him raging at JSC, declaring JSC had no power to investigate him. JSC refused to agenda the matter showing impunity for Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
  10. On 7 February 2012, former President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign, for which the opposition cited “allegations of unconstitutional and unlawful activity with regard to circumstances surrounding the supposed abduction of Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
  11. In July 2012, the Civil Court ruled that JSC, the overseeing body of the judicial sector, could not implement any action against Judge Abdulla Mohamed, and thus he & other judges shall remain above any check & balance mechanisms ensured by the law.

Above points highlights the nature of the Judge, the victim, whose rights seems to take a precedence over the rights of the people that he sits & judges every single day when he walks into that courtroom & sits down to serve the people. If you can’t see nothing wrong with that picture, well, good luck to you! Former JSC member Aishath Vellezinee has a wealth of information on proceedings of JSC & the how’s & why’s of our arrival to where we are today. The points mentioned just highlights the depth of ineptness & corruption of the state institutes in the face of the ongoing judicial dictatorship the country is experiencing.

The arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, which I refuse to call an abduction, took place on 17th of January 2012. Lawyers from all over the country protested the move by the government, not looking beyond to see the character of the man that had been arrested, a man who had violated over and over again, the very code of ethics of the position he stands for. Two of the three judges presiding over the ongoing trial of President Mohamed Nasheed are those that were present at Judge Abdulla Mohamed’s residence when he was arrested, which is why I have a hard time calling his arrest an abduction.

Getting back to the ‘trial’, if it can even be called that, and the fact that Nasheed seems defiant in front of the judges with no respect for them, well, people respect those that garner respect, i.e. respect is earned. You can’t make someone respect a person just by making it mandatory by law. Elitism of the judicial sector is something I have a hard time accepting & well, let’s leave that discussion for another time.

This farce of a trial currently happening in Maldives, is above all difficult to read about & yes, impossible to accept. No matter how much any media wants to gloss over it, the state of the judiciary shines through in every aspect of this trial. Vindictive, corrupt & unjust are a few choice words that comes to the mind. If President Nasheed deserves to be jailed for the unlawful imprisonment of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, by all means please do so. But award him a fair trial that observes the proper proceedings as required by law. Don’t expect the mindful section of the public to accept the shenanigans that you keep referring to as a fair trial to imprison a former President.

Media makes out Judge Abdulla Mohamed to be the epitome of a well behaved citizen while President Nasheed, who is getting the raw end of the deal in every single manner remains the villain in many a people’s eyes. There was a mention in the aforementioned article of how Judge Abdulla Mohamed never looked up at President Nasheed during his testimony at court while President Nasheed looked on at him with avid interest. I say, if you have a clear conscience, you can look in the other person’s eye when they are talking about what you’ve done. Can’t say the same thing for the ‘victim’ here who couldn’t, not until that last ‘historic’ moment where even the infamous Judge Abdulla Mohamed had to smile back at a man who refuses to show the world that he is being beaten by a system designed to do so, in the form of this heinous & rampant injustice that’s being done.

Like Julian Assange once said, “every time we witness an injustice & do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence & thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves & those we love.”

I sincerely hope that doesn’t become the case with us Maldivians.

Allah knows best.

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