President Abdulla Yameen has on Thursday appointed Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi as the new Chief Justice of the Maldives.
A ceremony was held at the President's Office on Thursday morning, where the Chief Justice took the oath of office before Justice Abdulla Areef, along with two justices that were appointed to the Supreme Court bench; Abdulla Didi and Abdul Ghanee Mohamed.
Afterwards, President Yameen presented the letter of appointment to the Chief Justice and the other two.
Parliament approved the three justices to the Supreme Court at a sitting held on Wednesday night.
The newly appointed Chief Justice has been on the Supreme Court bench since August 2010. Prior to that he had served as the counsel general at the People's Majlis, as well as the post of deputy attorney general in 2008. He also received his PhD the same year.
The Addu city native studied at Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, specializing in International Law and Constitutional Law.
Abdul Ghanee had been on the High Court bench since 2004, and had been the chief judge at the court from 2008 to 2011. He also received his higher education at Al Azhar University.
Abdulla Didi was the chief judge at the High Court prior to his appointment as a justice at the Supreme Court; he was appointed to the court in 2015. He is one of the three judges in the Criminal Court bench that found former President Mohamed Nasheed guilty of terrorism in March 2015. He was transferred to the High Court less than three months after Nasheed's sentencing.
Two seats at the Supreme Court bench became vacant after Supreme Court decided to uphold the convictions of former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed, as a new amendment to the Judges Act states that a sitting jugde will lose their seat 'if convicted of a criminal offence and the ruling is upheld by the Supreme Court'.
The Criminal Court had sentenced them to one year, seven months and six days in prison after finding them guilty of influencing lower court verdicts. While the High Court upheld the verdict, it decided to reduce their jail sentence one year, two months and 12 days. Supreme Court upheld the verdict on June 20, after the justices filed an appeal following the High Court’s verdict.