Former Deputy Prosecutor General of the Maldives, Mr Hussain Shameem has described the Maldivian judiciary’s detention of opposition party leader, Mr Abdulla Yameen, as “unconstitutional and wrong”. Mr Shameem mentioned this through his official Twitter account earlier today.
Mr Shameem had previously expressed his misgivings regarding the Maldivian judiciary’s decision to keep the former president in detention. The Prosecutor General had requested the court to detain Mr Yameen to prevent him from “tampering with evidence”.
Mr Shameem had been critical of this justification, claiming that documentary evidence could not be tampered with. Mr Shameem had also elaborated that if Mr Yameen had posed a flight risk, simply confiscating his passport would have been sufficient.
Mr Shameem claimed that he disliked the practice of detaining individuals until the end of their trial, and further stated that it was a much-abused practice.
Mr Yameen was charged with money-laundering by the Prosecutor General’s office after an anti-corruption body within the government had published an investigation into an embezzlement scandal involving the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.
Mr Yameen was one of the 155 individuals named by the report. None of these other individuals have had charges pressed against them by the Prosecutor General’s office. It is widely believed that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Mr Shameem’s comments come amidst rising concerns that the newly-elected Maldivian Democratic Party-lead administration may be manipulating the judiciary in order to weaken their main opposition ahead of April’s parliamentary elections.