Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen: Our own people facilitated the political chaos in Male

Updated: 09 February, 2018 08:55 IST | Agencies | Male

Two judges accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes to facilitate a coup against the govt

The under-construction China Maldives Friendship Bridge pictured near the city of Male. Pic/AFP
The under-construction China Maldives Friendship Bridge pictured near the city of Male. Pic/AFP

Embattled Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has blamed a few people for bringing chaos to the country as the police accused two top judges of accepting millions of dollars in "bribes" to facilitate a coup against the government.

The island nation, which has seen several political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos last Thursday when the apex court ordered the release of nine imprisoned Opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".

The Yameen government refused to obey the court orders and declared a state of emergency in the country. Maldives' Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after Yameen declared a state of emergency.

Acting police chief Abdulla Nawaz told reporters that police had found evidence that "millions of dollars were given to Saeed and Hameed, and to court official Hassan Saeed, as bribes" in return for ordering the release of imprisoned politicians opposed to President. All are being charged with attempting to unlawfully overthrow the government, the police said. Saeed's lawyer claimed that his client received death threats before his arrest. Saeed was warned he would be "cut into pieces" if he did not overturn the court order, the lawyer said.

'Promote dialogue between parties'
China opposed any UN mediation in the Maldives but called on the international community to provide "support and convenience" to the relevant parties to facilitate dialogue and resolve the country's crisis. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China is for supporting relevant parties in the island nation to resolve the crisis.

Maldives denies it ignored India
The Maldivian Embassy in India on Thursday denied that its President Abdulla Yameen had sent special envoys to "friendly" China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and not to India to explain the political crisis in his country. "A section of the Indian media has brought out news items stating that special envoy of the president has bypassed India," the embassy said in a statement. "This is far from the truth."

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First Published: 09 February, 2018 08:50 IST

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