Maldives lawmakers vote to remove prosecutor general News
Maldives lawmakers vote to remove prosecutor general

[JURIST] Lawmakers in the Maldives voted Tuesday to remove prosecutor general Muhtaz Muhzin following his refusal to press corruption charges against the recently ousted vice president [JURIST report]. Out of the 85-member parliament, 57 lawmakers approved a no-confidence motion [Haveeru report] against the prosecutor general. Muhtaz says that he has not been made aware of the content of the accusations against him and filed a formal request to parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh for a public audience to respond to the charges against him, though his letter was rejected.

Muhtaz is the third high-level official to be removed in the Maldives in the past four months. Last week the Maldives parliament unanimously passed a declaration to remove Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor from his position as vice president due to accusations that he had been planning to kill President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Ex-vice president Mohamed Jameel was impeached [JURIST report] by parliament in July for neglecting his duties. He was believed to have been closely associated with jailed ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, who was imprisoned for ordering the arrest of a top judge while serving as president. The Maldives government has created significant controversy over the last three years, following Nasheed’s resignation in 2012. In March 2013 Maldives police authorities arrested Nasheed [JURIST report] for missing a court appearance over charges that he illegally detained a judge prior to his resignation. In February 2015 Nasheed was arrested again, this time for alleged violations [JURIST report] of the country’s anti-terrorism law. The next month the Criminal Court of Maldives sentenced Nasheed to 13 years in prison [JURIST report] for terrorism-related charges. Nasheed’s trial garnered international attention from civil rights advocates. Immediately following the trial UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned the trial proceedings for violations of due process [JURIST report].