JSC clears Criminal Court Chief Judge Shakeel of misconduct in disciplinary issue

Criminal Court's Chief Judge Ahmed Shakeel. (Sun File Photo)

Judicial Service Commission (JSC), on Sunday, has cleared Criminal Court’s Chief Judge Ahmed Shakeel of misconduct in the disciplinary issue raised against him.

The case against Judge Shakeel was filed by an independent party regarding his decision to transfer the alleged leader of the Maldivian faction of the international terror network Islamic State, Mohamed Ameen, Kariyya Villa, Maadhandu, Fuvahmulah City, to home arrest.

At a convening of the Commission held on Sunday, they cleared Judge Shakeel of any misconduct in his decision to transfer Ameen to home arrest.

A superior court had ordered Ameen’s rearrest after overruling Judge Shakeel’s decision to transfer him to home arrest.

Ameen is suspected of involvement in the Sultan’s Park bombing which injured a dozen tourists in 2007. He fled the country after the bombing, prompting an Interpol red notice against him. 

He was arrested from neighboring Sri Lanka and brought to Maldives in 2012 but released by the court after two months of detainment. 

He was rearrested in 2019 – under suspicion of spreading radical extremist ideologies and recruiting and dispatching people for jihad in other countries. He was charged with membership in a terrorist organization and conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism.

US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has Ameen flagged as a senior operative of IS, making him the first Maldivian national to be named on the OFAC’s terror list. 

According to the US, Ameen was actively engaged in leading IS recruitment in Maldives. He is also accused of assisting the IS branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan by providing funding, assistance and technological support. 

Ameen, in 2019, became the first person to be arrested and charged under the new revisions to the Counter-Terrorism Act.