Parliament requests to prosecute Deputy Minister of Defence

Deputy Minister of Defence Ministry, Hassan Zameel | Photo: Presidents Office

Malé, Maldives – Parliament of Maldives has sent a letter to Prosecutor General (PG) to prosecute Deputy Minister of Defence Ministry, Hassan Zameel.

Parliament had sent the letter to Prosecutor General on the instruction of Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed who is currently in Germany following treatment for the injuries he received in the assassination attempt on him on May 6, 2021.

According to local media sources, parliament had requested Prosecutor General to file a case against Deputy Minister of Defence Hassan Zameel because he had signed the letter which was sent to parliament by the ministry stating that no individual officers of MNDF would answer to National Security Services Committee’s (241 Committee) investigation of the terror attack on Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed.

The letter sent by Defence Ministry to parliament which Deputy Minister Zameel had signed stated that MNDF would be answering to the questions of Parliament in the inquiry instead of individual officers.

This comes while MNDF had said in a statement that while the Maldivian Parliament and its Committees can summon any individual or organizations to testify or demand any required documents, that the military does not fall under this categories and that no individual officer could be summoned and questioned. 

MNDF stated that all defense operations are required to be overseen by a member of the cabinet of ministers and that the minister in charge of a specific operation must answer to the President or Parliament, questioning individual personnel regarding their operations contradicts the MNDF military hierarchy, chain of command, command and control and policies followed within the organisation for generations.

However, parliamentarians, especially members from Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), have been stating that individual officers are legally mandated to testify before the parliament in such an inquiry and that Defence Ministry was obstructing parliaments works.

Parliaments argument is based on an advisory opinion given by Supreme Court of the Maldives back in March 10, 2011 which stated that individual officers of the military and police can be summoned to the parliament according to the constitution.

MNDF had further noted that issuing any information obtained in the line of duty to anyone other than those specified in the MNDF is outlawed. In addition to this, MNDF laws prevent an individual officer from conversing with various parties about such information without approval from a commander .

“Subsequently, to maintain command and control as well as chain of command policies, instead of individual officers answering regarding their duties, this organisation will respond” read the statement.

Speaker Nasheed still remains in Germany after he was released from the German medical hospital on May 21, where he went for recovery and rehabilitation for the injuries suffered in the May 6, 2021 assassination attempt on him. According to his family, he will remain in Germany for a month before returning back to Maldives. 

Speaker Nasheed was treated at the Critical Care Unit of ADK hospital in Malé until he was airlifted to Germany on May 13, 2021 for recovery and rehabilitation. Parliament had previously revealed that Speaker Nasheed’s medical expenses in Germany is being covered by Honorary Consul of Maldives in Germany, Christian Von Stetten.

The IED explosion went off around 20:20 on 6 May leaving Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed critically injured while he was getting in to his car near his house, G. Kenereege, Malé City. In addition to him, 3 more people were also been reported to be injured from the explosion including the Speaker’s bodyguards and bystanders.

Nasheed was brought in with heavy bleeding, and both internal and external shrapnel injuries. Ball bearings were found in Nasheed’s chest, near the heart. Injuries caused by these projectiles caused life threatening damage to the chest area. Nasheed endured major injury to the fourth rib, with a blade going through a lung. A projectile also went through his intestine with another near his liver.