The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of Maldives has suspended the chief judge of Maldives Criminal Court.
The decision of the commission came on Tuesday morning, 05 November 2019, following the commission’s meeting on the day.
The chief judge of Criminal Court Ahmed Hailam was suspended for sharing derogatory content in social media chat group. Hailam was alleged of sending a picture via the popular chat application Viber on 03 November 2019, the day nationally marked as the Victory Day of Maldives.
In his message, he shared a picture reimagining the martyr Hussain Adam dragging a group of individuals locked in shackles. The reimagined picture showed the incumbent president as well as the speaker of Maldives parliament among the shackled prisoners as well as the infamous conspirators of the 03 November terror strike into the mainland of the country.
Judge Hailam’s action sparked lambaste within the political community while the public reaction visible on various social media platforms have been polarized.
The Criminal Court judge was requested for summoning at JSC’s Tuesday meeting, however the commission revealed he did not attend the meeting. JSC had identified Judge Hailam’s excuse for not attending the meeting inadmissible.
Following the outburst created from Judge Hailam’s action, he was filed against for a disciplinary action to the commission. The commission employed Hailam’s statement regarding the matter as evidence of accepting his actions.
JSC in their remarks noted the Criminal Court judge was suspended in order to uphold the transparency and fairness of the legal system adding his continued presence as a judge without repercussions will impede the said notion.
In his defense, judge Hailam released a statement on Monday night stating he had not fully observed the content before sharing it in the chat group, adding he sent the picture only after observing one of the conspirators of the 03 November attack.
Judge Hailam had apologized in his statement, noting he had not observed the picture also had reimagined versions of the Maldives head of state and speaker of parliament.
The Criminal Court Judge’s actions has caused an uproar in the local parliament with several lawmakers accusing the judge of impartiality. Several lawmakers have also accused the Judge of allegedly accepting bribes and commandeering the court sentence on former president Abdulla Yameen’s trial.