Abdul Aleem, the secretary-general of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling party, has paid an MVR85,000 (US$5,500) fine for contempt of court.
Aleem was fined by the civil court on April 27 after a five-judge panel decided that he contravened a ruling that effectively gave President Abdulla Yameen control of the Progressive Party of Maldives.
The civil court in October stripped Gayoom of his powers as the party’s elected leader and ordered Yameen to resume council meetings under his leadership. The PPM’s governing council promptly put Yameen in charge of the party but Gayoom reacted by reconstituting both the council and disciplinary committee with loyalists.
After two hearings during which he was grilled by Chief Judge Abdulla Ali, Judge Mohamed Haleem, Judge Hassan Fahmy Ibrahim, Judge Ali Naseer and Judge Ali Abdulla, Aleem was found guilty of contempt of court and ordered to settle the fine within 10 days.
Aleem, who also acts as a media official for the Gayoom faction, paid the fine to the civil court in cash on Monday afternoon. The payment also included MVR1,000 (US$65) in MVR1 coins.
In late March, the Yameen faction’s disciplinary committee expelled Gayoom himself from the PPM after the 79-year-old signed a pact with the opposition and sought to seize Yameen’s parliament’s majority with defections from the ruling party.
The police subsequently took down the PPM flag and its logo from Gayoom’s office.
Aleem has also been placed under investigation, along with Gayoom supporter Ibrahim Afraath, on a charge of bribing lawmakers ahead of the March 27 vote to oust the speaker of the parliament. The police also confiscated their phones and raided their home for hidden cash on April 7.