Investigation underway into documents on Nasheed’s house-arrest

Investigation underway into documents on Nasheed’s house-arrest
August 26 12:22 2015

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s lawyers have shared with the police CCTV footage of a government official who delivered documents informing the opposition leader of his permanent transfer to house arrest.

The official can be seen entering Nasheed’s home, Maafannu Yaagoothuge, on July 19, said Hassan Latheef, a member of his legal team.

The government now denies commuting Nasheed’s 13-year jail term, and is investigating what they claim is a forged document.

The former president was taken back to jail on Sunday, a move that has prompted international criticism.

Latheef was summoned to the police on Tuesday night.

“I told the police that, on the night of July 19, 2015, President Nasheed called me from Yaagoothuge. He told me that an official from the Maldives Corrections Services (MCS) was at his home to deliver a document, and asked if I could drop by the house. I said yes and went over to his place.

“When I went there, I was led to believe that the man was a staff of the Corrections Services because he had a document from the MCS. The man gave one original to President Nasheed and took the other with him,” he told the press afterwards.

A police spokesperson said the investigation is of top priority, but declined to comment on whether the man seen entering Nasheed’s residence has been identified.

Nasheed was first transferred to house arrest on June 21. The initial three-day period was extended to eight weeks on June 23 after the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) announced it would back a constitutional amendment to allow President Abdulla Yameen to replace his deputy.

On July 1, the government committed to political reconciliation and began talks with the MDP. Home Minister Umar Naseer pledged to make concessions on the imprisonment of opposition leaders and charges against opposition supporters.

The MDP then backed the impeachment of Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, and issued a free whip on a second controversial amendment to the Constitution allowing foreigners to own land in the Maldives.

A presidential pardon for Nasheed was expected on July 23. Instead, the Prosecutor General announced he would appeal Nasheed’s guilty verdict.

The next day, Nasheed’s lawyers announced the government had commuted his jail term to house arrest. The Maldivian High Commission in Colombo confirmed the move to the AFP.

The document Nasheed signed was an agreement pledging to abide by the terms of his house arrest. It had a state seal and signature, and is similar to the agreements he had signed on June 21 and 23.

Lawyers have not been allowed to visit Nasheed yet. They said that the MCS is awaiting authorization from the home ministry.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, the United States government and Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussain, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have renewed calls on the Maldives government to release Nasheed.