Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed have been sentenced to 1 year and 7 months in prison by Criminal Court on Wednesday.
They were all convicted of the State raised obstruction of justice charge against them. They were charged thus on the claim that they refused to hand over their phones for investigation after being arrested.
The court verdict also stripped them of their license to preach religious sermons, and the license to practice law.
The hearing on Wednesday consisted of hearing the summary statements. When Gayoom was given an opportunity to speak after the State gave their summary statement, he said that he did not commit a crime and the trial was carried out in clear violation of the Shariah and the Constitution. Gayoom said this as the verdict was reached on the testimony of secret witnesses and without a lawyer present.
When Justice Ali Hameed and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed were given the chance to speak, they said their lawyers will speak on behalf of them. However all lawyers representing the trio had quit the case, due to the way the trial was being carried out.
While the testimonies of the State witnesses were accepted, the testimonies of the defense witnesses were not accepted by the presiding judge Hassan Najeeb.
The witnesses submitted by the State include two police officers who went to arrest Gayoom, two police officers who went to arrest the justices and another secret witness.
The police officers who went to arrest Gayoom testified that he refused to hand over his phone by saying that it was not with him. They were also unable to find his phone after searching Gayoom’s residence, M. Endherimaage.
Meanwhile the police officers that went to arrest the justices stated that both justices also refused to hand over their phones. According to the officers the justices said that the officers were violating the law and therefore, there was no reason to communicate with criminals. Their phones were also not found during the search carried out at Supreme Court.
The secret witness testified that communication between them and Justice Ali Hameed were carried out numerous times since 2014. But the witness refused to disclose the nature of the communication, stating that it would expose their identity.