Qasim calls Yameen a ‘thief’, sparking heated exchanges at Parliament

Lawmakers pictured during a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament has become the scene of heated exchanges once again subsequent to remarks by Maamigli MP Qasim Ibrahim stating that former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom is the most inhumane ruler and a thief.

In a parliamentary debate held today regarding bill proposing amendments to the Land Act, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam stated that the judgement passed down to Yameen’s is void – and the leaked audio recordings of three of five judges on the Criminal Court bench which found Yameen guilty of money laundering back in 2019 – is a clear indication of that.

Speaking further, Shiyam noted that the judgement was issued by holding the judges hostage and that Yameen should be freed and compensated for the “wrongful conviction”.

In the midst of Shiyam’s speech, Qasim had raised a point of order – following which he stated that during Yameen’s administration, the judgement against himself was issued at midnight, while he was hospitalized at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

He further stated that this makes Yameen the most inhumane ruler to rule in the Maldives.

The remarks by Qasim were dismissed as point of order. Subsequently, Qasim stated that if unjustness was being talked at the Parliament’s floor – he also had a right to talk about the unjust judgement passed against him as well.

Supporting Qasim’s remarks, Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed spoke out of his turn, raising his voice – stating that the judgement issued against Qasim in Yameen’s administration was unjust.

Both Qasim and Rasheed spoke out of turn – and began protesting, hindering the continuation of the debate. Opposition parliamentarians also rose from their seats and protested in front of the acting speaker.

The first to raise voice in protest at the Parliament today, has been Qasim. The acting speaker – unable to control the members who also began protesting – had called for a break to calm things down.

A motion was submitted to the Parliament today regarding the leaked audio recordings of three of five judges on the Criminal Court bench which found Yameen guilty of money laundering. However, the motion was not accepted.

Yameen’s trial was originally assigned to then-chief judge Ahmed Hailam, but he was suspended at the last minute and a five-judge bench was established to hear the case. The bench was composed of Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad, Judge Ali Rasheed Hussain, Judge Mohamed Sameer, Judge Ahmed Shakeel, and Judge Ali Adam.  

Alleged audio recordings of conversations by three of the judges - Hussain Faiz Rashad, Ali Adam, and Mohamed Sameer - went viral on Sunday, in which they make comments suggesting the trial was influenced. 

In one of the audio recordings – reportedly of Faiz – he says that the sentence against Yameen was issued by holding the judges hostage

However, the three judges have said that the audio recordings were fake and that they did not make such comments.