Police seek to charge Nasheed for Yameen’s 2010 arrest

Police seek to charge Nasheed for Yameen’s 2010 arrest
January 10 20:03 2017

Police in Maldives are seeking to charge former President Mohamed Nasheed over the 2010 arrest of President Abdulla Yameen.

A spokesman said the police have sent files on the investigation to the prosecutor general’s office, but declined to comment on the charges against the opposition leader.

Nasheed is living in exile in the United Kingdom.

His defence minister, Ameen Faisal, is standing trial on terrorism charges relating to Yameen’s arrest.

Ameen is being tried behind closed doors, and has been barred from leaving the Maldives. He faces a 15-year jail sentence if found guilty.

Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham told newspaper Mihaaru that charges will be pressed only after prosecutors resolve procedural issues in the police’s investigation.

Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party declined to comment immediately.

He was granted asylum months his arrival in London last January on medical leave from prison. At the time, he was serving a 13-year jail sentence over the arrest of a top judge during his tenure.

He was found guilty of terrorism in a trial widely condemned as politically motivated.

The police launched the probe into Yameen’s arrest in September.

The chief of defence forces at the time of Yameen’s arrest, Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel, was also summoned for questioning. However, it is unclear if Jaleel, who briefly served in Yameen’s cabinet as defence minister, is also facing charges.

Yameen, who was an MP with the minority opposition party, the People’s Alliance, was first arrested by the police in late June 2010 on charges of conspiring to topple the government. However, the supreme court declared his arrest unlawful and ordered his release.

Two weeks later, the Maldives National Defence Forces took Yameen into what it called “protective custody” on July 14, 2010, after violent clashes erupted outside his residence between pro-government and opposition supporters.

The unrest occurred amid an acrimonious deadlock between the executive and the opposition-majority parliament.

In a phone interview from Aarah, Yameen told a television station that he was being held against his will. He was only allowed access to his family and lawyer.

The MNDF subsequently refused to comply with court orders to present Yameen before the criminal court, drawing international concern and leading to the suspension of parliamentary proceedings.

Nasheed said he was “forced” to isolate political leaders and government officials claimed Yameen’s detention was necessary because of risks to his safety by an irate public.

At the time, Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim, the leader of the Jumhooree Party, were under investigation on charges of treason, bribery and corruption. Six MPs of the then-ruling party had accused the pair of offering bribes to vote in favour of impeaching the president.

The pair had been arrested on June 29, 2010, hours after Nasheed’s entire cabinet resigned in protest over what it called “scorched earth tactics” of the parliament, which had passed several laws curtailing the executive’s powers. The next day, the criminal court transferred the pair to house arrest for three days.

Recordings of discussions between Yameen, Gasim and other lawmakers implicating them in apparent bribery were posted on the Internet shortly after their release.

The civil court later ruled Yameen’s detention unconstitutional and ordered the police to pay out MVR244,000 (US$15,823) in damages.