Maldives Police Service declared Tuesday that arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed had received USD 2.4 million as “aid” from a major local firm to stage a coup against the elected government.
Superintendent of Police Ahmed Shifan stated in a press conference that the USD 2.4 million had been received directly by Saeed, accusing it was a bribe in exchange for unlawful favours from the top court judges.
“We have received documents proving that he had travelled to look into buying expensive properties in and outside of the Maldives, and had been doing business with the bribe money.”
Shifan also claimed that recent actions to obstruct the functioning of the state and halt the Supreme Court’s IT network were done under direct orders from the chief justice.
The police are accusing Saeed of accepting bribes, manipulating judicial verdicts, abusing his position to overthrow the elected government, obstructing the functioning of the state, and deliberately obstructing the criminal justice system.
Shifan also shed light on the case of Ali Hameed, another arrested top court judge, stating that Police had found USD 215,000 and MVR 150,000 from a bag belonging to Hameed. The money amounts to a total of MVR 3.4 million.
Police have arrested 13 individuals so far under accusations of attempting to stage a coup, including Saeed, Hameed, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed, and the lawmakers Faris Maumoon, Ilham Ahmed and Abdulla Sinan.
The arrests and coup allegations came in the wake of a shock ruling by the Supreme Court at the beginning of this month ordering to release nine political prisoners. Raising suspicions of bribery involved over the top court judges’ unprecedented decision, the government had declared a state of emergency on February 5 and commenced the arrests in a crackdown. Since then, the remaining three judges of the Supreme Court have revoked the order to free convicted politicians.