Judges agree to provide audio samples for analysis

Judges whose alleged audio clips are being investigated have agreed to provide audio sample for analysis.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) began an investigation after audio clips in which Criminal Court judges, Hussain Faiz Rashad and Ali Adam, and Drug Court Judge Mohamed Sameer allegedly speak about the money laundering conviction issued against former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom were leaked on social media.

In one of the 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'. The conversation implied that his wife was held hostage.

In a statement issued on Monday night, JSC said the three judges were questioned for information gathering purposes earlier the same day. During the process, all three judges dismissed the audios circulating on social media as 'fake' and denied having had any such conversations, said JSC.

The remaining two judges on the five-judge bench that convicted Yameen, Judge Ali Rasheed Hussain and Ahmed Shakeel have also been questioned regarding the matter, said JSC. Both judges also denied the allegations in the clips.

JSC said it has requested Maldives Police Service to conduct as analysis on the audio clips for further investigation. All three judges have agreed to provide audio samples for the analysis, the commission said.

Yameen's money laundering case was originally assigned to former judge Ahmed Hailam, who was suspended hours before the final hearing. The 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.