Statement on the Judges Panel Appeal Hearing at the High Court

The Maldives High Court adjourns the court appeal hearing held on Thursday after assuring that reasonable time will be provided for President Nasheed’s legal team to examine the minutes of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) meetings which were submitted to the High Court today.

At the hearing today, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) stated that the case could not be heard at the High Court as the JSC acquired advice from the Supreme Court when convening the panel of judges to the Hulhumale’ Magistrates’ Court in order to preside over criminal proceedings against President Nasheed at the Court.

Mariya Didi, President Nasheed’s spokesperson said: “It is strange that the JSC’s legal counsel contested jurisdiction of the High Court to hear the case on the grounds that they had sought the advice of the Supreme Court in determining the bench”

“Recently, when eight judges of the High Court bench filed a complaint at the JSC claiming that the High Court had not followed procedure in accepting President Nasheed’s appeal and granting stay to Hulhumale’ Magistrates’ Court proceedings, the JSC had rejected it on what we understood the grounds to be as the matter should be heard in Court. We did ask for an adjournment to prepare our response to their procedural issue. The Court said they would give us time to prepare for our response and adjourned the hearing” Mariya explained.

Speaker of Parliament and member of the JSC, Abdullah Shahid and JSC member appointed by the public, Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman recently gave testimony to the Independent Commissions Oversight Committee at Parliament, reaffirming that in their view the judges’ panel was convened unconstitutionally.

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