No jurisdiction for top court to hear pres impeachment, says ex-AG

Former Attorney General (AG) has slammed the opposition over the recent case filed to impeach president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom saying that the top court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Azima Shakoor who now serves as the legal affairs minister at the President's Office told state TV on Tuesday saying that the reasons for impeachment specified by the opposition renders the case void as the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear such a case.

Former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed had spearheaded the case accusing president Yameen of corruption and embezzlement asking the Supreme Court to remove him from office until the allegations can be investigated.

Azima however, said the opposition has no authority to file a criminal case while the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear it.

She stressed that criminal cases must be filed directly by the Prosecutor General (PG) while the constitution clearly has given the authority to remove an elected president from office only to the parliament.

After the parliament impeaches the president, the Supreme Court's only role is to determine if the process was constitutional, the renowned lawyer in constitutional disputes insisted.

"This is clearly designed to create discord. Now the country has been plunged into a debate of whether the president can be impeached or not. I think some people want this country to be in a state of fear and apprehension. Some people are only happy when there is instability and chaos. So for me its hard to label such things as a political masterstroke," she added.