Bodufinolhu case: Arrested expats were not appointed a translator

Expatriate workers in B. Bodufinolhu. (Photo/Police)

Nineteen expatriates arrested due to the unrest in B. Bodufinolhu recently were remanded to custody without an appointed translator during the hearing, a lawyer for one of the accused has said.

The issue is to be submitted to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Attorney Aminath Nashaa Adhil met with her client yesterday. The individual was arrested on July 2. He gave a detailed account of the events that occurred in Bodufinolhu during the audio conference through the Eydhafushi Police Station. The individual said that he was instructed to sign papers at the remand hearing without the appointment of a translator. He had also detailed the events in Bodufinolhu during the hearing.

“The issue of a remand hearing of expatriates being conducted without the appointment of a translator is to be submitted to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).” Said that attorney.

The unrest in B. Bodufinolhu was over unpaid wages and involved expatriates damaging property and vandalizing equipment and vehicles at the location. A number of locals were also taken hostage by the expatriates who numbered around 200. 

A special operation of police and MNDF was commenced in order to quell the unrest after initial attempts by police to land on the island were faced with a violent response from the expatriates. Some police officers also suffered injuries during the ordeal.

The contractor and the developer of the island are also involved in a spat over the payment of wages. Neither company involved admit that it was their responsibility to pay the wages. 

Nashaa also questioned whether the matter could proceed in the B. Atoll judicial administration in a fair and unbiased manner since the owners of Seal Maldives, the developer of the island of Bodufinolhu were from the region. She also said that previous accounts of threats of violence by the businessman have been reported and gone unaddressed by the police in the region.