Legal Media and Press Freedom

Press barred from hearing against Suood at Criminal Court

Press has been barred from the hearing scheduled at Criminal Court this Tuesday in the contempt of court against Husnu Al Suood, the Chairperson of Commission for Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances over his allegations of affiliation between Maldivian judges and criminal gangs.

The council of judges at the Criminal Court made the decision to pursue a contempt of court case against Suood last Monday. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for 2 pm this Tuesday.

A media official at the Criminal Court reports press have been barred from the hearing.

Speaking during a press conference on December 30, Suood said the commission had information uncovering a system of influence by gangs over judges and court staff, exercised to release suspects and influence rulings.

Suood said the commission also had information of appointment of judges nominated by gangs and existence of ‘quotas’ of judges to courts by individual gangs. As well as backroom deals made between gangs, influence over witnesses and perversion of witness testimony in the middle of murder trials.

He said he had no hope of justice from the current judges at the Criminal Court.

Criminal Court has described Suood’s remarks as “a fearful and dangerous statement designed to enslave the independent judiciary”.

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