Judiciary committee withdraws decision to pursue PG's dismissal

The Parliament's judiciary committee has withdrawn their decision to pursue the dismissal of Prosecutor General (PG) Aishath Bisham.

While the committee on Wednesday made the decision to pursue the current PG's dismissal, committee member Hinnavaaru MP Aishath Jeehan during Thursday's meeting countered the decision by proposing to stop the proceedings. Her proposal was seconded by four committee members.

It has been reported that Jeehan said the PG's dismissal was being sought against the principles of main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). The PG's dismissal was proposed by Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj the day before, and was not present at Thursday's committee meeting.

During Wednesday's committee meeting, MP Moosa Siraj proposed the committee to begin procedures to dismiss Bisham. The proposition was made during discussion on the the bill proposing amendments to the Prosecutor General's Act.

While the purpose of the bill is to ensure the integrity of the Prosecutor General, Siraj said the most important step in building PG's integrity is to dismiss the current Prosecutor General, Aishath Bisham. All members on the committee agreed with Siraj by voting to begin procedures to dismiss Bisham. All such decisions are required to be informed to Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

According to parliament regulations, the committee's decision must be shared with the Parliament floor, which will again be returned to the judicial committee for further research. After this process, a report based on the committee's findings will be sent to the parliament floor and debated, after which a vote will be taken to decide on the PG's dismissal.

Main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has previously stated that the party would pursue Bisham's dismissal if the party attained parliament majority. However, Bisham has remained as the PG despite MDP winning super majority of the parliament. While a no confidence motion against Bisham was previously raised at the parliament, it was later retracted. Although MP Siraj earlier pursued the issue of PG Bisham with MDP parliamentary group, the issue did not move forward.

PG Bisham recently faced heavy criticism after the High Court denied statements made by PG Bisham over the appeal of the verdict issued by the Criminal Court on murdered journalist Ahmed Rilwan's case. Some MPs have also alleged that the PG's actions in handling former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's money laundering trial was biased and in favor of the former president.