The Maldives Judges Association has publicly condemned the recent vandalism of Interim Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Ali Rasheed’s residence.
In a press release by the association on Wednesday, the association calls for relevant authorities to swiftly investigate the vandalism caused to the Interim Chief Judge’s residence and take the appropriate legal action against the vandals.
The association also highlighted that article 141(c) of the constitution protects members of the court from interference or influence from officials performing public functions, or any other persons. Furthermore, they highlight that article 13(b) and (c) of the Judges Act (13/2010) declares that the state's defense forces must arrange protection for judges under circumstances that threaten their safety and security as a consequence of their profession.
Therefore, the association asked for assurance from relevant authorities on security arrangements for judges and called for swift action to be taken against such security threats.
According to the Maldives Police Service (MPS), the door to the chief justice's residence was damaged with an axe, and a message was scribbled on the door. However, the police did not disclose the context of this message.
Police is to have received the report at around 6 am.
While officers have found the axe believed to have been used to damage the door, there have been no arrests in the case thus far.
Judge Rasheed was appointed interim chief judge at the Criminal Court, following Judge Ahmed Hailam's suspension.
Rasheed was to preside over former President Abdulla Yameen's money laundering trial, with a hearing scheduled for November 17. However, a five-judge bench has since been formed to preside over the case.
Judge Hailam claims to have been pressured by senior government officials to find the former president guilty. He also alleged that the interim chief judge is facing the same pressures as well.