Ex-president of Maldives arrested
Police in the Maldives arrested former president Mohamed Nasheed yesterday for twice failing to appear in court to face charges of illegally ordering the arrest of a judge while in office.
Nasheed – who has said the military ousted him in a coup earlier this year – was arrested while campaigning for next year’s elections. His arrest could trigger protests by his supporters, who have previously clashed with police in the Indian ocean archipelago nation and who say the charges against him are politically motivated.
Police spokesman Hasan Haneef said Nasheed was arrested on Fares-Mathoda island, in the Gaaf Dhaal atoll, around 270 miles from the capital, Male.
“He is in police custody in order to be produced before courts,” Mr Haneef added.
On Sunday, Hulhumale magistrate’s court issued an arrest warrant for Nasheed after he twice defied summons to appear before courts. He was also ordered not to leave the capital without the court’s permission. Nasheed defied that order too.
Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party condemned the arrest, saying it was politically motivated.
In a statement, the party added: “This morning, at 9:45am, 50 heavily armed masked police in full riot gear and wearing gas masks smashed down the door of a house where President Nasheed and his campaign team were staying and took him into custody.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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