JSC to investigate leaked audio clip

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will be investigating the audio leak of a conversation in which High Court Judge Husain Faiz Rashad speaks about the money laundering conviction issued against former President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

A statement issued by JSC on Sunday night said judges should be impartial and should not be intimidated into letting any influence effect their decisions. They must base their decisions on the law and must be fair, the statement said. Therefore, any allegations of influence over a judge's work will be taken seriously and investigated in order to ensure that the courts are independent, reliable and just, the statement further said.

In the leaked audio clip, Judge Faiz Rashad, who was part of the bench that sentenced President Yameen to five years in jail for money laundering, said the judges were coerced into issuing the conviction against the former president by 'taking hostages'. He indirectly hinted that it was his wife that was held hostage, and not him.

Yameen's money laundering case was originally assigned to former judge Ahmed Hailam, who was suspended hours before the final hearing. A five-judge bench was then comprised to oversee the case, which included the now-Supreme Court Judge Ali Rasheed, the current Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Ahmed Shakeel, Judge Ahmed Sameer, Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad and Judge Ali Adam.