K. Male' | Shan Anees | 17-October-2018 | Wednesday 11:59 | twitter | Local | 574
As a verdict in Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen’s case seeking annulment of electoral results that turned out against his favour nears, his supporters claim Supreme Court justices are under his influence.
A leaked screenshot of a thread on instant-messaging app Viber, with a name starting with ‘We Stand With Yameen’, shows a Yameen supporter asking his fellow activists to not be anxious about the impending verdict and it would turn out in their favour.
“The case is going forward smoothly, nobody needs to worry. Justices are under the president’s influence. That is why I said OK, we will hear good news soon”, the three consecutive messages say.
The remainder of the screenshot does not show any other member of the group acknowledging or responding to the message. These have leaked onto social media where they gained traction after the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided it would not be hearing testimony from witnesses put forth by the president.
Allegations that also surfaced claim that said witnesses, who were to testify in secret, were bribed to perjure themselves in order to implicate Elections Commission president Ahmed Shareef. Such a testimony would also substantiate the claim that votes were rigged and could have been basis for annulment.
The apex court decided in Tuesday’s hearing that there is no reason to hear testimonies from the witnesses and that the proceedings shall focus on the equipment and personnel involved in printing the ballot papers for September’s elections.
President-elect Ibrahim Solih, fielded by a coalition of parties, won with 58.4 percent of the votes. Yameen’s supporters and the ongoing case claims that votes were rigged through elaborate means; a ring that allows its user to clandestinely write on ballot papers and the papers themselves having been layered with a chemical that made marks on it move.
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