Ex prosecutor general, arrested over coup plot, released from remand

Ex prosecutor general, arrested over coup plot, released from remand
March 05 19:04 2016

Muhthaz Muhsin, the former prosecutor general arrested over an arrest warrant for President Abdulla Yameen, was released from remand custody on Friday.

Judge Ahmed Nihan, alleged to have signed the court order, remains in custody.

The police are seeking charges against the pair. The case has been forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, but charges remain unclear.

Muhsin was not available for comment at the time of going to press. The police are appealing his release at the appellate High Court. A hearing will take place tonight.

The pair were first arrested on February 7.

Police claim Muhthaz and his accomplices traveled by speedboat to Maamigili around 12:45am on February 7 “to seek a court order to arrest President Abdulla Yameen and topple the government.” The move came amidst allegations of Yameen’s involvement in a historic corruption scandal.

Chief Superintendent Mohamed Riyaz had told the press at the time that the warrant was “left on a street in Malé” in the early hours of February 7 and that activists from a political party had tried to create the impression that the police were about to arrest the president.

He also that said former President Mohamed Nasheed– who is currently in the UK on a 30-day medical leave from prison – had called a senior officer of the security services and encouraged him to enforce the warrant.

Yameen said the “fraudulent” warrant stated that police were seeking his arrest over the theft of some US$80million from state coffers. But there is “no reason at all” for the police to question the president over the missing funds, he said.

“The court order was released while I was asleep…This is a warrant issued by a magistrate court. If it’s a case against President Yameen, I should be given notice to ask if I was aware of it. I should be taken to court. [But] I was asleep. Maybe I was to be arrested in my dream,” he said.

Nasheed also issued a statement saying he had called Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor upon learning that a warrant has been issued for Yameen’s arrest.

The opposition leader said he had asked the senior military officer if he was aware of the warrant and “and advised him to follow the laws and the constitution of the country.”

“The Maldivian Democratic Party has received a large dossier of evidence implicating President Yameen, amongst other things, in corruption and money laundering amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars,” the statement read.

“Furthermore, the media has revealed that President Yameen has been consulting a Sri Lankan practitioner of black magic before taking political decisions. The issue of concocting black magic is categorically forbidden in Islam In a situation where the president is obstructing the MPS and others from completing a proper investigation into these serious allegations, it is appropriate for the President to be taken into custody so that the investigation can proceed.”

The Supreme Court meanwhile issued a circular declaring that only the criminal court in Malé can issue arrest warrants for individuals residing in the capital.

Muhsin was removed from his post on November 10 by the pro-government majority in parliament following reports that he was stalling bribery charges against former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

Muhsin – a former criminal court judge – had overseen the controversial prosecutions of Nasheed and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim last year. The pair’s imprisonment after rushed trials that drew widespread international condemnation triggered a prolonged political crisis in the Maldives.