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Page added on April 2, 2012

“Coup investigation not within our mandate”: HRCM, PIC, PG, ACC, MMC

“Coup investigation not within our mandate”: HRCM, PIC, PG, ACC, MMC thumbnail

Investigation into the legality and legitimacy of the transfer of power on February 7 is not within Maldives’ independent state institutions’ mandate, the institutions have said.

Instead, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) will respectively investigate human rights violations and police conduct on February 7.

The Prosecutor General (PG) and the Maldives Media Council claim the two bodies do not have investigative authority, while the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said no cases have been lodged with the commission regarding the transfer of power.

Following the Commonwealth and EU’s call for an impartial investigation into the alleged coup d’état, President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan appointed a three member Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) to investigate the transfer of power. However, the commission has come under fire from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and civil society groups for unilateralism and lack of independence.

Moreover, the CNI has said it will not conduct a criminal investigation, but will publish a report based on members’ informed opinions in May. The commission’s mandate “specifically indicates that the inquiry will not be a criminal investigation. Any criminal investigation pertaining to the subject of the inquiry will remain the responsibility of the relevant authorities”.

But with the abdication of responsibility by independent state institutions, it now appears no independent commission in the Maldives will investigate the power transfer of February 7.

Ousted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor expressed “deep disappointment” and said institutions were “not extending themselves enough.”

“When the system breaks down, it is the responsibility of national mechanisms to deal with it. The democratic impulses driving these institutions are dying. This is why we are asking for external involvement and mediation in the inquiry,” he said.

President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down after elements of the police and military mutinied and called for his resignation. Video footage also show the police and military vandalising MDP’s offices and taking over state media Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) prior to Nasheed’s resignation.

Police cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in Malé the following day on February 8, leading to widespread arson and vandalism of courts, police stations and courts in the atolls.

HRCM

Speaking to Minivan News, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) said the commission will investigate human rights violations on February 6, 7, and 8, and release a comprehensive report by mid-April. However, the commission will not look into the transfer of power.

“We will not be looking into the transfer of power. The transfer of power is out of the commission’s mandate or the capacity in terms of numbers to investigate such a complex matter that involves so many institutions,” said commission member Ahmed Abdul Kareem.

“If HRCM gets involved in this inquiry, then we will not be able to investigate day-to-day cases,” he added.

He also said the best solution was for an impartial state inquiry with the representation of the Majlis and courts.

HRCM is currently investigating former President Mohamed Nasheed’s detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed. The former President, along with former Home Minister Hassan Afeef and Defence Minister Tholath Ibrahim, were last week summoned for questioning by the commission.

In response Gafoor said, “If the HRCM does not understand a coup to be an infringement of an entire public’s human rights, they are not extending themselves at all.”

Police Integrity Commission

President of the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) Shahindha Ismail said the commission would only be investigating the legality of police actions before and after February 7.

“Although the question of a coup has been raised, the PIC does not have the mandate to investigate such a claim. We are investigating police actions before and after February 7—whether they were lawful or unlawful,” she said. The PIC can only address the question of police mutiny once investigations are complete, she added.

Further, the PIC can only investigate the police role, but not that of the military. “There is no oversight body of the military except for the parliament,” she said.

Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz previously told local media the police would not be conducting an internal investigation of police conduct during transfer of power, citing concern of investigation “overlap” on the issue between the HRCM and the PIC.

Prosecutor General’s Office

Deputy PG Hussein Shameem said the Prosecutor General was not an investigative body, but could order an investigation if an investigation is not taking place.

“We have not ordered an investigation because we have been informed such an investigation is ongoing,” Shameem said referring to the CNI’s work.

Article 223 (d) of the constitution gives the PG the authority to oversee the legality of preliminary inquiries and investigations into alleged criminal activity. However, with the CNI stating it will not conduct a criminal investigation, the PG office’s role in the CNI inquiry is now unclear.

Maldives Media Council

Minivan News asked the Maldives Media Council (MMC) whether it was investigating the police and military takeover of the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) on February 7. Video footage shows some kind of firearm or explosive being used to enter the courtyard, and MNBC staff alleged the police and military intimidated them, and forced some journalists to go home before rebranding the station to its former title under Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The 15 member MMC is mandated by law to establish and preserve the freedom of media.

MMC President Mohamed Nazeef said the council was not an investigative body, and was waiting on other institutions to complete investigations.

“We are waiting since other institutions, such as the HRCM are investigating this matter. We do not want an overlap. We are not an investigative body and we cannot conduct an in-depth criminal investigation. We can only recommend matters of concern to the police. But if no one is investigating the issue, we will address it,” he said.

“MNBC was state media, controlled and protected by the government. Our concern and focus was more on the media personnel and private independent media organisations,” Nazeef added.

The Anti-Corruption Commission

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) said that although the MDP alleged elements of the police and the Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) were bribed to revolt against Nasheed, the commission could not investigate the entire military and police force.

“There are allegations that the police and military took bribes during the transfer of power. But there are approximately 5000 police officers. We cannot investigate the entire police force. We would need to conduct a forensic investigation, check their bank accounts and the bank accounts of relatives. But no one, even on a podium, has said with certainty the individual who took bribes. They say all police officers took bribes. I would like whoever is accusing the police to give us more details,” ACC President Hassan Luthfee said.

He also said there had only been two cases submitted regarding the transfer of power. One of them concerned a complaint that MDP demonstrators who laid money at police feet were actually bribing the police. The MDP were protesting against alleged police bribery.

The CNI

The CNI has now asked for witness statements and asked the public to upload statements and videos on their website if witnesses were uncomfortable giving statements in person.

The CNI has collected statements from all political parties except the MDP. But the MDP has refused to cooperate with the committee.

“We do not recognise the CNI. How can the people who instigated a coup investigate the coup? There is no validity in the process. How can we give any weight to it?” Gafoor told Minivan News.

The MDP has raised concerns over the committee’s composition. The CNI is chaired by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Defence Minister Ismail Shafeeu. The MDP has also called for strong international presence on the commission.

The EU, Commonwealth, India, UK and the US have called for an impartial investigation.

Dr Waheed Hassan told local television station Villa TV (VTV) he would resign and reinstate ousted President Nasheed if the CNI established the February 7 transfer of power to be illegitimate.

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24 Comments on "“Coup investigation not within our mandate”: HRCM, PIC, PG, ACC, MMC"

  1. Idhrees on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 9:28 PM 

    Here we go round the Mulberry Bush!

  2. A.Ahmed on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 10:19 PM 

    Zahee ! you are right. Anyone with sound sense of judgment and unbiased opinion would believe that those vandalized MDP’S offices and hijacked MNBC without any legal right should be brought to justice.

  3. cloudno.9 on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 10:20 PM 

    thanks Zareena for clearing out the constitutional mandates of the independent commissions

  4. A.Ahmed on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 10:44 PM 

    MDP’s insistence on international presence in CNI appears to be misleading.For, they only need EU,UK and US to be actively engaged in it. Know UK and US when when it to investigate something which relates to MDP??? CNI would better be composed of, EU,Au(Afican Union),AL (Arab League ), ML( Muslim League) SAARC,ASEAN, INDIA,PAKISTAN,IRAN and of course local political parties.This composition would be more impartial and unbiased.

  5. A.Ahmed on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 10:46 PM 

    MDP’s insistence on international presence in CNI appears to be misleading.For, they only need EU,UK and US to be actively engaged in it. Know UK and US when when it comes to investigate something which relates to MDP??? CNI would better be composed of, EU,Au(Afican Union),AL (Arab League ), ML( Muslim League) SAARC,ASEAN, INDIA,PAKISTAN,IRAN and of course local political parties.This composition would be more impartial and unbiased.

  6. Nazim on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 10:56 PM 

    …the Mulberry bush, the Mulberry bush…

  7. hamas on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:03 PM 

    this shahindha is a big joke.. telling people that police was stressed to beat civilians on 8th february.. just taking a fat salary and f***ting i guess…

  8. Lanka Ashford on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:04 PM 

    Police helped with the Coup, Ain’t it? The Army Buldozed Democracy! That’s Wat Happenedd!

  9. Wargath bin Naufal on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:12 PM 

    “If the HRCM does not understand a coup to be an infringement of an entire public’s human rights, they are not extending themselves at all.”

    Agreed

    CNI stating it will not conduct a criminal investigation, hahaha lol. facepalm

    Isn’t a ‘coup’ by definition unconstitutional and thus illegal.

    “Article 223 (d) of the constitution gives the PG the authority to oversee the legality of preliminary inquiries and investigations into alleged criminal activity. However, with the CNI stating it will not conduct a criminal investigation, the PG office’s role in the CNI inquiry is now unclear.”

    “We have not ordered an investigation because we have been informed such an investigation is ongoing,” Shameem from PG office said referring to the CNI’s work.

    My God, what a bunch of ……..

    Why can’t they come do a joint investigation where area’s of investigation and mandate overlap

  10. sayah on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:19 PM 

    Present Maldives is a military state and a connection with Somalian pirates………..

  11. mohamed on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:38 PM 

    Do minivannews has the copy right of the image you published? I thought I saw the image on AP wire!

  12. Yasir on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 3:31 AM 

    Ha ha ha, this must be a hard news for terrorist MDP to swallow. Im very happy to hear this news :)

  13. Shahid on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 7:05 AM 

    The only set up that can investigate, judge and decide is an international impartial committee.

    Please hurry for the sake of the nation!

  14. reality on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 8:33 AM 

    އެއްވެސް މީހަކަށް ނޯންނާނެ ދަޢުލަތުގެ މުދާކަމަށް ވިޔަސް، އަމިއްލަ ފަރުދެއްގެ މުދާކަމަށް ވިޔަސް އެއަށް އެއްވެސް ގެއްލުމެއް ދިނުމުގެ ޙައްޤެއް. ދަޢުލަތުގެ މުދަލަށް ގެއްލުންދީ ހުޅުޖަހައި ހަދާ މީހުންނާއި މެދު ހަމަހަމަ އުޞޫލަކުން ކަންތައްތައް ގެންދެވޭނަމަ، މިއަދު އެމް.ޑީ.ޕީ. އަށް ނިސްބަތްވާ މަޖުލިހު މެމްބަރުންގެ މުސާރައިން އެބައި އުނިކުރެވުނީސް. އަދި އެމީހުންނަށް ޙުކުމް ވެސް ކުރެވުނީސް. ނަމަވެސް ޢަދުލް އިންސާފު ނެތީމައި، ކޯޓުތަކާއި ފަނޑިޔާރުންނާއި ފުލުހުންނާއި ސިފައިން ސިޔާސީވެގެން އުޅުނީމައި ޤަޥްމަށް ވާނެ އެއްޗެއް ވެ ނިމިއްޖެ.
    ދެން ވެސް މިކަންކަން ރަނގަޅުކުރެވޭނީ ދަޢުލަތުގެ މުދަލަށް ކުރިއްސުރެ ގެއްލުންދިން ހުރިހާ ފަރާތްތަކާއި މެދު ފިޔަވަޅު އަޅައި، ތަރުތީބުން އައިސް އެމް.ޑީ.ޕީ. މެމްބަރުންގެ މުސާރައިން އުނިކޮށްގެން މަޖުލިހުން ގެއްލުނު މުދަލުގެ އަގުދެވި، އެކުށުގެ ޙައްޤު އަދަބު ދެވިގެން. ނަމަވެސް ހިތާމައަކީ ކުށްކުރީމައި ވަކިބަޔަކު ކުށްވެރިވެފައި އަނެއްބަޔަކު ކުއްވެރި ނުވާތީ. ހަމަހަމަ އުޞޫލު ނުގެންގުޅެވޭތީ. އެހެންނޫންނަމަ، މިއީ ވަރަށް ފަސޭހައިން ހައްލުކުރެވޭނެ މައްސަލައެއް.
    ކޮންމެ ބަޔަކަށް ވެސް ހީވަނީ އާރާއި ބާރު ލިބުނީމައި ދެން ނުޖެހޭނޭ އަނެކާގެ ޙައްޤު ރައްކާތެރިކުރާކަށެއް. ތިމަންނަމެންނަށް ވެރިކަން ލިބުނީމައި ހަދާނީ ހަދާނެ އެއްޗެކޭ. މިވިސްނުން ބަދަލުކުރެވިގެން ނޫނީ ދިވެހި ޤަޥްމު ސަލާމަތުގެ އައްސޭރިއަކަށް ނުގެންދެވޭނެ.

  15. Q2 on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 8:34 AM 

    mohamed on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 11:38 PM

    says “Do minivannews has the copy right of the image you published? I thought I saw the image on AP wire!”

    Waheed also thought he never saw any signs of a coup de’tat and was totally surprised!

  16. moon on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 10:30 AM 

    @ Q2 – i was thinkin the same while readin another article… saw the same pic from Sun being used on MINIVAN.. shame!!

  17. Naila on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 10:46 AM 

    What about the Majlis? Don’t they have the mandate? Can minvan team please inquire whether any effort is being made through the majlis mechanisms (coup and police brutality issues).

  18. Aeesha) on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 11:01 AM 

    Bandit Waheed is really a HERO as he claims. He doesn’t know that the majority of people would definitely TAKE REVENGE on what he did.

    Maumoon was allowed to go because even on the first day Anni said, “How we deal with Maumoon would show how much of democracy we have”

    But with this Dark Bandit!!! Definitely REVENGE. Another Mohamed Ameen. How is he going to live in the Maldives????

  19. simple and honest on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 11:03 AM 

    I am happy to sse you happy Yasir ;) lol another leftover from Maumoon’s regime…

  20. fazu on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 1:48 PM 

    suddenly everyones about mandates!! what are their mandates and what have they been doing to this date with their mandate then? if they have been doing their mandate we would not be here today in crisis??!!! apart from taking fat salaries, going on first class travel, taking big inaayath packages these commission members do NOTHING!!!!! i say dissolve them all restructure governance of this country

  21. Ahmed on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 2:25 PM 

    @Q2 and Mohamed
    I Don’t care where it comes from as long as it is correct!!

  22. S.M.A.R.T on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 3:57 PM 

    Anyone with common sense, basic values, and any ethics can see that this was a coupe brought about with many involved in it!

    There is no doubt about that this is a coup however much it is tried to make it look otherwise!

    I am sure the Speaker of the People’s Majlis Mr. Abdulla Shahid would have seen live coverage of events that took place and the resignation of a president elected by the people in accordance to their Constitution!

    If he, the head of the legislature cannot, or did not question the legality of this take over, and the change over of the constitutionally voted government of the peoples, it is not possible to see who could question or investigate this matter!

    I would think that it is the moral duty of the legislature to question this unconstitutional happening!

    No one need to be a lawyer to answer this!

  23. police guy on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 7:07 PM 

    Actually there was no coup, so there is no need to investigate something that did not happen there. Anni left office to ‘shock’ the nation and then vice-president was sworn in. Its a simple story. Don’t twist the facts. Anni simply miscalculated. simple facts.

  24. Gasia on Tue, 3rd Apr 2012 10:40 PM 

    CNI should be strictly a local entity as the matter is a sovereign local political issue. MDP did not co-operate at the time of the CNI composition. Anyway any International body or country is free to come and do their own inquiry. Do not forget that it was CMAG who did the initial inquiry and could not come to any conclusion citing time restraints, whereas it was their own agenda. No one placed any restraints on the length of CMAG inquiry. On the other hand maybe Hardingham, Mark Lynas and the Salisbury gang will be preferred by the MDP. Be sensible, stop crying and start work on the 2013 election


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