JSC moves to request dismissal of Maamendhoo chief magistrate Shukoor

Ahmed Shukoor, Chief Magistrate of G. A. Maamendhoo Magistrate Court.

Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has made the decision to request the Parliament to dismiss G. A. Maamendhoo chief magistrate Ahmed Shukoor following an investigation against him on multiple allegations of misconduct.

In a statement on Saturday afternoon, JSC said it made the decision to request the Parliament for Shukoor’s dismissal during the commission’s 72nd meeting on Wednesday, October 21.

JSC, following its investigation found Shukoor guilty of four cases of misconduct.

One of the allegations that JSC has found him guilty of is that he met with attorney of a suspect who Shukoor has a personal connection to at a restaurant in G. A. Vilingili on the day the Vilingili Magistrate Court was scheduled to make a decision regarding his remand and accepted an envelope handed over to him by the attorney. He had been working as a magistrate at the Vilingili Magistrate Court at the time.

 The second allegation he has been found guilty of is that he attended a meeting held at a private residence in G. A. Vilingili with several former judges during the 2018 presidential elections and expressed his support for a specific presidential candidate and campaigned to gather votes for the candidate.

The third allegation he has been found guilty of is that he made political statements while in a café in G. A. Vilingili in September 2018 and asked for votes for a specific presidential candidate.

The fourth allegation he has been found guilty of is that he shared his decision regarding the remand of terror suspects arrested from G. A. Kolamaafushi with the police prior to their remand hearing at the G. A. Vilingili Magistrate Court, and acted in contravention of judicial standards during the hearing.

JSC found his actions were in contravention of Article 142 of the Maldivian Constitution, Article 312 (a) (iii), (v), and (x) of Judges Act, Article 1.5, 3.1, 4.2, 7.1, and 7.2 of Code of Conduct of Judges, and found they provided grounds for removal from office as declared under Article 154 (b) of the Maldivian Constitution.

Article 154 (b) Judge may be removed from office only if the Judicial Service Commission finds that the person is grossly incompetent, or that the Judge is guilty of gross misconduct, and submits to the People’s Majlis a resolution supporting the removal of the Judge, which is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the People’s Majlis present and voting.

Shukoor is also under investigation by JSC for eight additional allegations of misconduct. They are:

  • Allegation that information pertaining to requests for search and seizure warrants filed by the police with the court are leaked, resulting in evidence tampering.
  • Allegation that he cultivates close personal relationships with known drug offenders
  • Allegation of repeated convictions in favor of defendants charged with drugs and other offenses from G. A. Vilingili.
  • Allegation of obstruction of justice.
  • Allegation he accepted bribes and authorized the release of suspects arrested from G. A. Vilingili and other islands in the region when presented for their remand hearings despite sufficient evidence to warrant detention.
  • Allegation he summoned police officers to the court and threatened them.
  • Allegation that he harasses police officers who attend court in connection to ongoing investigations, ridicules police officers in front of suspects, and defends suspects.
  • Allegation that he is deliberately delaying a case lodged with the G. A. Maamendhoo Magistrate over lack of compensation for illegal removal and use of trees that belong to a private citizen, in accordance with a prior court ruling.

Shukoor had been placed under suspension by JSC back in July.