Ahmed Shakeel, the former chief judge of the criminal court of the Maldives, has been sworn in as a High Court Judge. Shakeel is best known for presiding over the high-profile money laundering case of former President Yameen, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25th, 2022. However, rumors surrounding Shakeel's promotion suggest that his appointment may have been contingent on delivering the verdict.
It is not the first time that a judge's promotion has been linked to a high-profile case in the Maldives. In 2019, the judge who oversaw former President Yameen's previous conviction was promptly promoted to the Maldives Supreme Court. Such appointments raise concerns about the politicization of the judiciary and the potential for judicial decisions to be influenced by political motivations.
The independence and neutrality of the judiciary are essential for ensuring justice for all and upholding the rule of law. The increasing trend of judicial promotions following high-profile cases raises questions about the judiciary's ability to remain independent and free from political influence.
The appointment of Ahmed Shakeel as a High Court Judge is yet another example of the politicization of the judiciary in the Maldives. It is crucial for the government to ensure that the judiciary remains independent and free from political influence to ensure justice for all.