Maldives pres says “nothing can be done” in Nazim’s case

Former defence minister Nazim smiles as he enters the Supreme Court for the second pre-trial hearing on Tuesday. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

Former defence minister Nazim smiles as he enters the Supreme Court for the second pre-trial hearing on Tuesday. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom stated in a letter that there is nothing he can do in the case of former defence minister Mohamed Nazim convicted of weapons possession, reported Nazim’s family on Thursday.

Nazim was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he was convicted of weapons possession over a hand gun found in his residence. However, neither his DNA nor fingerprints was found on the weapon. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court had upheld the verdict of the High Court sentencing Nazim to jail, despite new evidence of DNA recovered from the pistol that matched the DNA profile of former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor, who is currently serving a jail sentence of 15 years over an assassination attempt on the president last year September.

Nazim’s younger brother and former managing director of State Trading Organisation (STO) Adam Azim said that the family had informed the president in a letter that Nazim’s court hearings and trials had been conducted unjustly without full completion of criminal procedures. They had reiterated in the letter that it was former vice president Ahmed Adheeb’s fingerprints that were recovered from the pistol.

“Referring to all these, we requested the president to bring justice for Nazim. The president’s reply was that there is nothing he can do in a case closed by the three levels of judiciary,” said Azim.

In response to Mihaaru’s inquiry regarding the president’s reply, the President’s Office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali replied that the president’s responses to letters from civilians cannot be disclosed to the media.

Azim declared that the family does not recognise the case as being closed by the three judicial levels, since the Supreme Court had not taken the new evidence of Ahmed Adheeb’s DNA being found on the hand gun into account despite the Prosecutor General’s Office having forwarded the evidence to the apex court.

Nazim’s family added that bringing justice to Nazim is a moral obligation on the president and state even from an Islamic Shariah perspective, considering the overwhelming doubts in his case as well as having sufficient evidence to prove the handgun had been planted in Nazim’s residence by someone else.

Police had earlier stated they had not investigated the recovery of Adheeb’s DNA from the hand gun as a separate case.

As the top court’s ruling is the final verdict, the family now has lost all chances of appeal. The only possibility of Nazim’s freedom would be the president giving clemency to his sentence.

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