Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim says police interrogated him on Wednesday evening over fresh allegations against him in relation to a speech he delivered at M. Kunooz on April 5.
Speaking to the press after nearly two-and-a-half hours inside police headquarters, Qasim he is being investigated over allegations of attempting to influence judges and security forces, and encouraging to overthrow a legally formed government.
The JP leader, who maintains that he has not done anything unlawful, said he will continue ongoing reform efforts without any hesitation, and that he will do so within legal boundaries. He added that, as a member of parliament and as a leader of a political party, he will continue to do what is necessary for the country and to hold the government accountable.
Member of Qasim’s legal team, Hisan Hussain, said police are investigating Qasim on fresh allegations and that the interrogations had nothing to do with the ongoing court case, where he is being tried on bribery and voter influence charges.
Qasim was summoned twice within the last few weeks in relation to bribery and voter influence allegations, and was arrested too. But when he appealed the case, High Court ruled that his arrest was unlawful and he was released after six days in detention, but the state is nonetheless prosecuting Qasim, on three charges.
Qasim, who is also the MP for Maamigili Constituency, has been charged with “attempting to offer bribes”, “influencing the official conduct of a public official” and “intimidating, improperly influencing a voter” – over a public speech he gave in which he invited Members of Parliament to join the opposition movement and vote to remove the Speaker of Parliament.
The trial began on April 13. During the first hearing the state’s attempt to obtain a detention order against Qasim failed.
While the next hearing is scheduled for April 23, Police on Sunday raided Qasim’s residence, Maafannu Villa, and Villa Building where Qasim’s Villa Group offices are located, claiming to find evidence for the court case.
Qasim’s legal team later revealed that police could not find any evidence from the buildings, but the JP leader’s phone was confiscated.