Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath on Monday refuted allegations made in the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him, which relates to the government’s handling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) case that decided on the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the Maldives and Mauritius.

Responding to the motion on the parliament floor today, the Attorney General categorically denied any connection between President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s letter to the Prime Minister of Mauritius and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruling on the dispute. The President’s letter informed the Prime Minister of Mauritius of a change in the Maldives’ position, expressing support for Mauritius’ sovereignty over the Chagos. However, Riffath clarified that the letter had no bearing on the case.

Opposition members have been criticising the government since the ITLOS ruling, claiming that the President’s letter resulted in a significant loss of the Maldives’ territorial waters. The Attorney General told the Parliament that decisions regarding the separation of the southern border were made in accordance with the Constitution, laws, and international treaties, emphasising that the case had been effectively argued. During the parliamentary session, Riffath accused previous governments and former attorneys general of neglect in properly attending to the territorial dispute.

Responding to allegations of bribery, Riffath vehemently denied any involvement, emphasising that he had not received any personal benefits from the Mauritian government. He indirectly referred to former Presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Abdullah Yameen, stating that he did not possess any honours or undisclosed financial accounts.

Opposition members raised points of order and expressed dissatisfaction when Riffath was not prevented from attacking former presidents and governments. Former President and Speaker Nasheed acknowledged the points of order and asked Riffath to respond directly to the motion.

Displeasure arose when Riffath contradicted the speaker’s assertion and accused the procedure for the no-confidence motion had not been followed, leading to a contentious exchange between the two.

The Attorney General vehemently defended his position, asserting that all relevant documents related to the hearings at the ITLOS had been shared with the parliament. He emphasised that comprehensive documents and charts were submitted as evidence, reflecting the facts of the case.

Nasheed interjected, claiming that the documents were shared on the condition of confidentiality until the resolution of the case. Opposition members repeatedly pointed out that President Solih’s letter was not included in the cache of documents shared with the Parliament.

Today’s parliamentary session concluded without a no-confidence vote. The Parliament has so far not announced a date for voting on the no-confidence motion.