Defence Minister Mariya strikes back at ex-President Yameen

Minister of Defense Mariya Ahmed Didi | Photo: Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas

Malé, Maldives – The Maldives Minister of Defence Mariya Didi has questioned former President Yameen Abdul Gayyooms decision to dispatch soldiers and the Supreme Court by allegedly removing the roofing of the Supreme Court building.

In 2018, the then President Abdull Yameen Abdul Gayyoom declared a state of emergency and used security forces to arrest Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed following the Supreme Court order to release political dissidents in detention.

Former President Yameen explained his decision in last night’s opposition gathering stating that the justices accepted bribes and the state of emergency was declared to combat the rule that judges may only be investigated by authority of the Supreme Court.

The former President also added that the Supreme Court Justices had purchased property in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that were outside their pay grades, alleging that they had accepted bribes.

The [Supreme Court] judgement states that amount in President Yameen’s bank account is outside his pay grade. Does this mean the Justices who passed the judgment must be arrested by force after removing roofing of the Supreme Court.

In response, Defence Minister Mariya stated that the although acquitted, the Supreme Court judgement detail that the actions by the former President Yameen were not presidential and if the incumbent government should declare a state of emergency.

Among the most contentious acts committed by the former administration were removing the roof of the supreme court building to arrest Supreme Court Justices, declaring two states of emergency and detaining political rivals including the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.

Former President Yameen was acquitted of the Criminal Court judgement unanimously by three justices bench of the Supreme Court on 30 November 2021.