Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed Arrested
In a dramatic turn of events, Maldivian police today arrested former President
Mohamed Nasheed after he twice failed to appear before a court to face charges
of abuse of power while in office.
Wearing gas masks and riot gear, armed police stormed a house on Fares-Mathoda
in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll, breaking down the door, and took into custody Nasheed, who
not had only refused to appear in court but had also ignored a travel ban
restricting his movement only to Male.
The police move follows the Hulhumale Magistrate Court yesterday issuing a
warrant for Nasheed's arrest and presentation in court tomorrow.
The court ordered Nasheed's arrest after he questioned legitimacy of a special
court to try him on charges of abuse of power.
He is facing charges of power abuse over the arrest and subsequent detention of
Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his last days in office.
45-year-old Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Indian
Ocean archipelago, was forced to resign in February following protests.
The ex-president was today escorted by at least a dozen officers and was taken
away by boat to the capital Male.
President Mohamed Waheed's media secretary Masood Imad said that he had been
informed that despite allegations raised by the Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic
Party (MDP) concerning alleged use of excessive force, police authorities had
insisted that officers had acted with restraint.
"I'm told (Nasheed) asked for a box of cigarettes, a request that
(officers) granted," Masood was quoted as saying by the Minivan News.
He rejected MDP allegations that Nasheed was been targeted and told PTI
that police was just doing its job based on court orders.
If found guilty Nasheed faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail or exile
or a fine not exceeding MVR 2,000. If Nasheed is convicted and sentenced to a
period of more than one year, he would be disqualified from contesting in the
upcoming Presidential election.
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