Government orders ex-defence minister to cut short Singapore medical trip

Government orders ex-defence minister to cut short Singapore medical trip
April 02 18:30 2016

The home ministry has ordered former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim to cut short a medical trip to Singapore and return to the Maldives to serve the remainder of his 11-year jail sentence.

The retired colonel was ordered by the Maldives Correctional Service on Friday to return to Malé today, April 2, one week earlier than the 21-day period of medical leave granted last month.

Nazim’s brother, Adam Azim, said that the order came after the family requested the MCS to extend Nazim’s medical leave by three more weeks for the treatment of varicose veins.

An MCS official confirmed the order, but said the home ministry had not stated a reason for reducing the period for medical leave.

The home ministry was not available for comment at the time of going to press.

Nazim is receiving treatment for deteriorating eyesight, cardiac issues and varicose veins.

A week before he left the Maldives, the appellate High Court had ruled to uphold his jail term on a weapons smuggling charge.

The trial had drawn widespread criticism for due process violations.

Nazim’s medical leave was cut short after he was photographed speaking with former MP Ahmed Nazim in Singapore. The former ruling party MP, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail on a corruption charge, is also in Singapore on government-authorised medical leave.

The government has refused to extend the former MP’s request for an extension of medical leave.

Nazim had travelled to Singapore on December 10 to undergo a back surgery.

The government is facing international pressure to release political prisoners and initiate dialogue with the opposition.