The home ministry has suspended Commissioner of Prisons Mohamed Husham pending the outcome of an investigation on unspecified charges.
Contrary to media reports, Home Minister Umar Naseer said last night that Husham has not been fired. He has been asked to stay home, Naseer said.
The home minister did not give a reason for the suspension.
Deputy Commissioner Hassan Zilal has been appointed acting commissioner. Zilal said he received instruction from the ministry yesterday to take up the post, adding that he did not know the reason for Husham’s suspension.
Contacted by The Maldives Independent, Naseer refused to elaborate on the investigation, saying it is “an internal matter.”
Husham was not responding to calls at the time of publication.
The suspension comes amidst confusion surrounding an extension of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s medical leave in the UK.
On Monday – a day after granting a 30-day extension for Nasheed to undergo treatment for a chronic back problem –Husham told the press that the Maldives Correctional Service has revoked the extension after Nasheed’s lawyers denied President Abdulla Yameen’s claim that the opposition leader was due to undergo surgery on April 19.
But Nasheed’s lawyer Hassan Latheef told The Maldives Independent yesterday that the legal team have yet to be formally notified of the decision to revoke the extension.
Nasheed’s lawyers had said the medical documents submitted to the MCS made no mention of a surgery. However, Nasheed underwent a medical procedure on Tuesday to alleviate a back problem arising from slipped discs in his spine. He was under anesthesia when the procedure was performed.
It is unclear whether Yameen was referring to the medical procedure when he said Nasheed was due to be “admitted for surgery.”
Naseer meanwhile said yesterday that he has asked the Maldives Correctional Services’ medical board to review Nasheed’s case.
“Due to the confusion created by RN’s lawyers, I have submitted the case for review to the Medical Board of MCS for reconsideration of medical leave,” he tweeted.
The MCS had previously denied the request for a 60-day extension, citing incomplete documents submitted by his lawyers, and ordered the opposition leader to return to the Maldives to serve the remainder of his 13-year jail sentence.
On Monday, the MCS also ordered former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and former ruling party MP Ahmed Nazim to return to the Maldives within 48 hours. The pair were authorised to seek medical treatment in Singapore.
The ex-defence minister arrived in the Maldives this morning. He has reportedly been transferred to house arrest for a period of one month.