Luncheon held at personal expense: Justice Mahaz

Supreme Court Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir. | Photo: President’s Office

Malé, Maldives – Supreme Court Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir has said that he held a luncheon at his own expense on the day of sentencing in the case of former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Justice Mahaz’s remarks come after the JSC decided to investigate a disciplinary matter against him for allegedly receiving lunch from an associate of former President Yameen on the day of Yameen’s sentencing.

Justice Mahaz said that because of the lengthy hearings in Yameen’s case, every day of the case, a judge of the trial bench brings lunch at their own expense, including the other two judges.

Mahaz said he ordered food from a place and brought the lunch at his own expense on November 30 last year, the day Yameen was sentenced. He also added that he had invited all the judges to the luncheon as it was the last day all the judges would meet before recess of the Supreme Court.

“All the judges will know where the food came from. All the judges ate it. They said it was delicious.” Justice Mahaz explained.

He also said if there is a trial tomorrow, including meal arrangements, all arrangements are made in advance the night before and it is not done in secret.

“The food was brought at my own expense. There is a payment slip. It was not free or discounted. And nothing special was brought.” Mahaz said.

“When I ordered myself, the place where I ordered would call me, so I gave an administrative staff, the number of the person who would deliver the food. This is how it happened.”

The Supreme Court quashed the five-year jail sentence handed down to Yameen by a unanimous vote of three Supreme Court judges. They are Justice Mahaz, Justice Dr Azmiralda Zahir and Justice Dr Mohammed Ibrahim.