'CP may not ask questions when AG gives instructions'

Former Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has criticized Maldives Police Service for stating that the are no legal grounds on which the two police officers linked to journalist Ahmed Rilwan's murder can be arrested.

A report on Rilwan's murder issued by the presidential commission on murders and disappearances said two officers of Maldives Police Services attempted to obstruct the investigate into Rilwan's abduction. Following the revelations, Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath instructed the police to proceed with the arrest of the two officers.

The police confirmed to the AG that the authority had begun the process to arrest the officers in question.

The letter sent by the AG requesting the arrest to the police highlighted four main issues. It noted that while the two officers had attempted to obstruct the investigation, and instructed the police to obtain the necessary court order required for their arrest. The police were further instructed to take relevant action based on the findings of the report, and to place the two officers under suspension.

The AG also instructed the police to investigate allegations that communications had taken place between Male' Area Commander Abdul Rauf and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb regarding Rilwan's passport.

However, the police said Friday that while neither the police nor the commission had enough substantial evidence that can be tied to the officers, there were no legal grounds on which the officers can be arrested.

Following the statement, the former prosecutor general took to Twitter to express his concerns.

In his tweet, Shameem said there were no reasons why the two officers cannot be arrested as the commission's report show the officers intended to commit a crime.

Shameem said the officers can be investigated and prosecuted under Chapters 80 and 310 of the Penal Code, for conspiring to commit an offence, attempting to make a fake document, and deceit.

Shameem added that when the Attorney General offers a legal opinion or gives specific instructions, the Commissioner of Police cannot usually question the Attorney General's direction. The Attorney General would not issue a legal opinion without careful assessment of the matter on hand, said Shameem.

The current attorney general is a close acquaintance of Shameem.