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Gayoom pleads for house arrest

The former president said he had written to the court and asked it to reconsider his detention as he was elderly and had health problems.



Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom pleaded for house arrest at his pre-trial hearing Tuesday, after prosecutors officially charged him with obstruction of justice.

Gayoom, along with Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed, are being charged for allegedly refusing to hand over their mobile phones for a police investigation.

The trio were given 10 days to appoint lawyers and prepare for trial.

Gayoom said at the hearing he had written to the court, asking it to reconsider his detention as he was elderly and had health problems, according to Avas Online.

He pleaded to be transferred to house arrest on humanitarian grounds. Judge Adam Arif refused, saying the ex-leader was being detained on other charges too.

But Arif said he would look into Gayoom’s letter and ensure there was a reply.

Gayoom, Hameed and Saeed are also being charged with terrorism over an alleged attempt to overthrow the government of Gayoom’s half-brother, President Abdulla Yameen.

Hameed and Saeed also face bribery charges.

All three were arrested on charges of plotting a coup, shortly after a state of emergency was declared on February 5.