Media requested not to post pictures of judges presiding over May 6 attack trials

Criminal Court of the Maldives on February 15, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Criminal Court, on Sunday, has requested media to not post pictures of judges included in the bench presiding over the trial of suspects charged in connection to the terrorist attack against Parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6, 2021.

The trial initially commenced with three judges on the bench; Judge Adam Mohamed, Judge Sofwath Habeeb and Judge Mohamed Misbah. However, Judge Adam Mohamed has recently recused himself from the bench.

Criminal Court said that they requesting not to post pictures of judges presiding over the trial due to the nature of the case – for the safety and security of judges in light of how events have previously unfolded in similar cases.

Judge Adam Mohamed has recused himself from the trial during a hearing held today. The suspects standing as defendants in today’s trial were;

  •          Mujaz Ahmed, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’
  •          Thahmeen Ahmed, Folheyma, GA. Kondey
  •          Ali Haisham, Nooreege, N. Manadhooo
  •          Mohamed Nazim, Asareege, AA. Maalhos
  •          Is’haq, M. Kudhehige, K. Male'
  •          Fahumy Ali, Hudhuruvaage, GA. Vilingili

While starting off the hearing, Judge Adam said that the court had received a letter from Is’haq, expressing concern over conflict of interest, and requesting him to recuse himself from the case.

Judge Adam had presided over the murder trial of local blogger Yameen Rasheed – who was brutally slain in the stairwell of his residence in Male’ City, M. Spatula, on April 23, 2017.  

Allegations that Is’haq’s son threatened the judge whilst the trial was underway had surfaced back then. Moreover, one of the defendants in Yameen Rasheed's murder, Hassan Shifaz, is registered to the same address as Is’haq, M. Kudhehige, and is Is'haq's son's uncle.

The letter sent by Is’haq expressed concern over the likelihood of the trial getting personal if Judge Adam Mohamed was to remain on the bench.

Therefore, as requested, Judge Adam took the decision to recuse himself from the case.

The trial will resume once a new bench is formulated.