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Meeah’s fears…and Raddhooa’s methods

This is a dramatic turn of events. After Boolakee’s statement incriminating Cehl Meeah, the police were waiting for the latter’s return. Even though there were no charges against him, the police wanted to question him about the car in which two other suspects were found in Pétrin at the beginning of July.

But Cehl Meeah thumbed his nose at the police and has decided to settle in Saudi Arabia stating his fear of being questioned by SP Raddhoa. But since Hussein Boolakee said he incriminated Cehl Meeah only because he was tortured by the police – the situation may have changed for Cehl Meeah.

Back to 7th July. The name of Cehl Meeah is mentioned after the police stopped a car for a routine check in Pétrin. They find suspicious objects in the car – tear gas, fake number plates, walkie-talkies and handcuffs – they arrest the three men in the car – Boolakee, Ramtoolah Hossen and Mohammad Raeez Salauroo.

The investigation leads the police to believe that Cehl Meeah and Mohammad Junaid Mohun, a student in Islamic jurisprudence in Pakistan, may have been involved with the car rental and the hold-up in Bijoulux jewellery in Port-Louis in August 2005.

Even though Cehl Meeah has always denied having any relation with this case, he nevertheless said he was keen on collaborating with the police if he had the guarantee that he would not be questioned by Prem Raddhoa. But the prime minister has supported the superintendent and the police have refused to give in to the blackmail despite the protection order.

As they have turned down his request, Cehl Meeah might not come back to Mauritius. His family has flown to Saudi Arabia to join him and he has been granted political asylum by the authorities there. His lawyer, Raouf Gulbul, revealed that his client was afraid to come back, as he feels that his life might be in danger here. “I can tell you that Cehl Meeah will not be back in Mauritius for a very, very long time.”

The leader of the Front solidarité mauricienne has benefited from a Court protection order to prevent SP Raddhoa from getting close to him. After being arrested by the Central Inquiry Division in the investigation on the triple murder of Gorah-Issac Street, Meeah finally obtained a nolle prosequi from the magistrate after three years in prison. He then made a statement to the police that he had been the victim of police brutality at the hands of Raddhoa and his team. As he has a protection order against his alleged torturer, he thought he would never have to face him again…

Even though Cehl Meeah
has always denied having
any relation with this
case, he nevertheless
said he would collaborate
with the police if he had
the guarantee that he
would not be questioned
by Prem Raddhoa.

He indeed may not have to face him but for other reasons than initially thought. Suspect Boolakee went back on his former statement and said he was now ready to give a “real statement” to the police. According to the suspect, he was brutalised by members of the Criminal Investigation Department and the Major Crimes Investigation Team both under the control of SP Raddhoa. He asserts the police tortured him to make sure he accuses the student Mohun of being a terrorist supplying weapons. Likewise, he was forced with threats, insults and blows to say that the instructions came from Cehl Meeah.

If the Supreme Court finds that Hussein Boolakee was forced to make such a statement to the police, then Cehl Meeah could be out of trouble. Until then, he remains in Saudi Arabia with his family. The government does not seem ready to start procedures for a possible extradition. Not only is the situation becoming more delicate but the government might not want to take the risk of spoiling its relationship with Saudi Arabia for the moment.

The authorities in that country granted Cehl Meeah political asylum after Raouf Gulbul and other lawyers sent a file on the issue of human rights in Mauritius. Moreover, Cehl Meeah is said to have benefited from the support of a Saudi prince. The file contains allegations of torture and non-respect of human rights against SP Raddhoa during Cehl Meeah’s last stay in prison and allegations in other cases like that of Rajesh Ramlogun who died in police custody.