Police scramble to probe secret testimonies leak

Police on Wednesday confirmed the authenticity of several leaked testimonies given to the police during the investigation into the alleged plot to overthrow the government following the Supreme Court order on February 1.

The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

Yameen's half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and four former government lawmakers have been charged with terrorism for their involvement in the coup plot through the February 1 court order.

The testimonies leaked on social media included several from lower court judges saying how the chief justice and judge Hameed had influenced their rulings. The leaked documents also included testimonies from top police officials and the intelligence report following the February 1 court order.

One testimony from a judge said the chief justice had asked for a specific ruling on an unnamed case citing "matter of national interest" on orders of president Yameen. Some other judges also admitted to having changed their rulings "to one president Yameen wanted" on orders of one of the two top court judges.

Prosecutors had planned to present the secret testimonies against the suspects charged in the plot. It remains unclear whether the leak had come from the police, the prosecutor's office or the criminal court.

Police on Wednesday during an impromptu press conference confirmed that the leaked testimonies were indeed authentic. Police spokesperson Ahmed Shifan condemned the leak and assured that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.