Maldives integrity chief sacked days after ‘obstruction’ tweet

President Abdulla Yameen has sacked the chief of the Maldives’ integrity watchdog, days after he threatened to take action against the police.

Yoosuf Maniu Mohamed, the president of the National Integrity Commission, was dismissed from his position on Thursday.

The NIC is an oversight body for the law enforcement agencies and investigates alleged violations of laws and regulations by employees, takes administrative action, and forwards cases for a police investigation to pursue criminal prosecution.

Maniu recently attracted attention for a tweet reprimanding police leadership for hampering the NIC’s work.

“Time for diplomacy is over those even in @PoliceMv leadership who obstruct our investigations will face the full legal power of NIC. We will succeed in protecting INNOCENT civilians and police officers as well. Allah Bless,” he tweeted.

Maniu was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Ibrahim Muaz Ali, a spokesman from the president’s office, confirmed the dismissal to the Maldives Independent. He added that Maniu had also been removed as an NIC member, but refused to explain why.

“The president has the power to appoint and dismiss members and to do so as he sees fit,” Muaz said.

The president can only sack NIC members if they are declared bankrupt by a court; if they fail to satisfy prerequisites to be a member or if they are found guilty of a criminal offence.

Maniu told news website Mihaaru that his tweet was about the police not cooperating with NIC investigations.

“There are some cases that can be finished [investigating] within a month or so. However, we are unable to reach police officials. We do not get their cooperation and this has led to a clog of pending cases,” he said.

Maniu was appointed as NIC head in December last year after his predecessor Mohamed Farhaad was removed from the post – also without explanation.

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