NewsTrial ObservationsDecember 13, 2012

BHRC Trial observation report: The Maldives

The BHRC launched on the 13 December  “A report on hearing in the case of former President Mohamed Nasheed, and meetings with lawyers, politicians, and journalists. The Maldives”.

This trial observation concerned the trial of the former President of the Maldives, Mr Mohamed Nasheed.

Mr Nasheed was charged with abusing his office while in power by ordering the arrest and detention of the head of the criminal court in Malé, the capital of the Maldives. There were concerns as to whether Mr Nasheed would receive a fair trial, fuelled by the disputed circumstances whereby he lost power in February 2012, and the subsequent reported deterioration in the human rights situation in the Maldives. There are also concerns that a major motivation for the charges brought against him is to prevent him running for president in the 2013 elections. In fact, the trial did not commence as planned, because of a preliminary hearing in the Maldives High Court on 4 November 2012 whereby Mr Nasheed’s legal team challenged the jurisdiction of the criminal court due to try him. The High Court adjourned the criminal trial pending the outcome of its inquiry into this issue. Stephen Cragg was able to use his time in the Maldives to talk to politicians, journalists, lawyers, activisists, Mr Nasheed himself, and the prosecutor general. Requests to meet the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Attorney-General were not responded to.

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