MDP torn on Ethic’s and Privileges committee decision to dismiss Zameel’s case

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

Members of Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) express anger at the Parliament’s Committee on Member’s Privileges and Ethics decided to dismiss the inquire request put forth by the Speaker against Deputy Minister of the Defence Ministry Ahmed Zameel.

Nasheed instructed to send a letter to the Prosecutor General, requesting to prosecute Zameel, after he sent a signed letter to the parliament, denying the request to summon individual officers of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

Instead of individual officers, MNDF will answer to National Security Service Committee, on their investigation of the terror attack against Nasheed on May 6.

Member of the Ethic’s and Privileges Committee, Representative for Dhangethi Constituency Mohamed Nazim submitted to dismiss the review request. With the exception of Central Hithadhoo Representative Ahmed Rasheed, all the members voted in favour.

Following this, there were heated exchanges in a WhatsApp group with the members of the national council. Chairperson of MDP Hassan Latheef conveyed a message from Speaker Nasheed accusing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of influencing MNDF and attempting to interfere in the Parliament’s inquiry.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Eva Abdulla accused MP Mohamed Rasheed, who happens to be brother in law to President Solih, of attempting to fail the inquiry, and questioned why he has continued to try and fail any requests of Speaker Nasheed.

She further questioned whether the “period of sympathy” offered to Speaker Nasheed following the terror attack against him was over.

Additionally, South Galolhu Representative Meekail Ahmed Naseem accused members who extensively used Speaker Nasheed’s picture during campaigning, of ” stepping on his neck” during his time of need.

Ugoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed said although MP Nazim submitted to dismiss the request by Speaker Nasheed, this was done by the government and some of the MDP members who are stuck in between “projects”.

Speaker Nasheed has been very vocal against the denial of individual MNDF officers being unable to answer to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. He accused that this was an attempt to hide information as well as the brave acts of those officers closest to him on the night of the attack.

Explaining their stand on the issue, MNDF released a statement, which noted that to maintain command and control and the chain of command policies, MNDF will answer as an institution rather than individual officers.

Additionally, it was noted that it was unlawful for officers to relay any information obtained in line of duty, apart from those specified. MNDF also prevents individual officers from giving any information without approval from a commanding officer.

MNDF as well as Defence Ministry has faced criticism over their failure to identify and prevent the attack on Nasheed, which saw him gravely injured.

Nasheed was treated at ADK right after the attack, where he underwent multiple life-saving surgeries. He is currently in Germany seeking further treatment and rehabilitation.