Jailed ex-defence minister brought to hospital with persisting health problems

Jailed ex-defence minister brought to hospital with persisting health problems
September 12 17:25 2015

Jailed former defence minister Mohamed Nazim was brought to the Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Malé this morning to consult a pulmonologist (lung specialist), two days after he was brought to consult a cardiologist and an orthopedic specialist.

Nazim’s brother Adam Azim told The Maldives Independent that the retired colonel has had countless hospital visits since his imprisonment in March due to complications with his health, stressing that Nazim did not suffer any of the problems before his arrest.

“He is having chest pains and breathing difficulties, along with the persistent problems in his eyes,” Azim said.

He noted that doctors had recommended on July 16 that Nazim be transferred to house arrest for three or four weeks of observation.

Nazim is serving an 11 year jail sentence on charges of weapons smuggling, but maintains he was framed by rogue police officers who planted a pistol and three bullets in his apartment during a midnight raid.

His family and lawyers have previously raised concern over possible damage to his kidneys. In late August, the family said doctors have warned that Nazim could lose his eyesight if he is not urgently flown overseas for medical treatment.

Azim is meanwhile in London seeking international pressure on the government to ensure that Nazim receives proper medical attention.

“The government is ignoring doctor’s orders and refusing to provide adequate and timely medical attention,” Azim said.

Maldives Correctional Services spokesman Moosa Rameez previously said convicts could only be sent abroad based on doctor’s recommendations.

“I am not aware that Nazim’s doctor has recommended he be sent abroad,” he said.

Rameez was not responding to calls at the time of publication.

In May, Nazim was authorised to travel to Singapore for 45 days to seek medical treatment. However, the MCS demanded his return ahead of the deadline, claiming to have learned that he had completed the treatment.

An appeal of the weapons smuggling conviction at the High Court meanwhile remains stalled after the Supreme Court transferred two judges on the five-judge panel to a newly-created regional branch in the south.

In early August, Nazim’s lawyer and former attorney general, Husnu Suood, petitioned the Supreme Court to order the appellate court to reconstitute a bench to hear the appeal.

Nazim’s trial coincided with the terrorism trial of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed. The opposition leader was sentenced to 13 years in jail over the military detention of a judge during his tenure. The pair’s imprisonment sparked a prolonged political crisis with daily protests and two mass anti-government rallies in Malé.