New evidence will prove Nazim was framed, says lawyer

New evidence will prove Nazim was framed, says lawyer
May 21 17:38 2016

New evidence will be submitted to the Supreme Court to prove that a policeman planted a pistol in former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s apartment, lawyers announced Thursday.

The retired colonel’s lawyer Husnu Suood told the press that the apex court will be asked to hear testimony from an eyewitness who saw a police officer involved in the midnight raid on Nazim’s apartment planting a black bag containing the pistol.

The implicated officer will also be called as a witness, he added.

The High Court had upheld Nazim’s weapons smuggling conviction in March, citing lack of evidence to prove that he was framed. The ex-defence minister’s rushed trial and 11-year jail sentence in March last year drew widespread condemnation over apparent lack of due process.

The High Court judgment was appealed to the Supreme Court last week. However, the court reportedly rejected the case as Nazim’s signature on the appeal form did not match the one on his national identity card.

Lawyers are expected to resubmit the appeal tomorrow.

Suood went on to reiterate Nazim’s stance that he was framed by Specialist Operations policemen acting on the orders of then-Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb, who was detained last October on suspicion of attempting to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen.

Nazim has maintained that Adeeb masterminded the plot after a fallout over the latter’s alleged use of SWAT police officers to chop down Malé City’s areca palms. The detained former vice president had denied any involvement in Nazim’s arrest.

Suood also said the legal team has been able to establish a link between the pistol found in Nazim’s home and a weapons cache discovered submerged near an uninhabited island last November.

He noted that the military had acknowledged that the weapons found near the island of Hibalhidhoo in Baa atoll included firearms that had gone missing from the state armoury.

“In the weapons found in Hibalhidhoo, the serial numbers were scratched off and sprayed over. The same method was used to conceal the serial numbers in the weapon from Nazim’s home,” Suood said.

Meanwhile, in February, Amnesty International petitioned the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Nazim’s behalf, seeking a judgment declaring his imprisonment illegal.

The specialised UN agency had ruled in September last year that former President Mohamed Nasheed’s imprisonment on a terrorism charge was illegal and politically motivated.

The government, however, rejected the non-binding opinion as “flawed and premature,” but later said the Supreme Court will consider the judgment when it hears the state’s appeal of Nasheed’s conviction.

Nazim was transferred to house arrest for 30 days in late April upon his return from Singapore.