The Parliament on Monday voted to dismiss Juvenile Court Judge Abdul Baaree Yoosuf.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) moved to request the parliament to dismiss the former Chief Judge of the Criminal Court last week after concluding its inquiry into allegations against the judge. The case was forwarded to the Judiciary Committee for analysis, and the Judiciary Committee decided that the JSC had acted according to due procedures in their probe into the judge. The committee concluded that Baaree’s dismissal must be pursued, and sent the issue to the Parliament floor for voting.
During Monday’s vote, 62 lawmakers voted to remove the judge. Only one member voted against dismissing the judge.
Judge Baaree was suspended by the judicial watchdog in 2019 after Maldives Police Service informed the commission of a criminal probe into the judge.
JSC recently investigated several cases involving Judge Baaree, including allegations that the judge had benefited from the largest corruption scandal in the country’s history, the MMPRC graft. It also investigated reports that the judge was actively involved in a business between May 2014 until the end of 2018, and his failure to disclose the financial gain obtained through the business.
The JSC noted that the judge shared a close relationship with MMPRC scandal’s main culprit and former Vice President, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor, and said that he had met Adeeb with a group of judges to discuss some high profile cases. The said meetings were conducted at the garage used to park the vehicles of Criminal Court judges, said JSC.
JSC said it believes Baaee forwarded to Adeeb a copy of the verdict made against former president Mohamed Nasheed in his terrorism trial prior to the verdict being delivered in court. Baaree’s request to obtain a flat was also fulfilled, with an additional MVR 500,000 was paid to the judge. The downpayment of MVR 600,000 paid for the apartment was obtained through unlawful means, said JSC.