Jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has alleged that the government engineered former President Mohamed Nasheed’s 13-year prison sentence in March 2015.
Nasheed’s legal team told the press on Sunday that Adeeb has asked the Supreme Court to review the opposition leader’s controversial terrorism conviction in a letter sent to Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed.
Adeeb alleged that Nasheed was prosecuted because he was leading a political campaign to free former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, who was arrested on a weapons smuggling charge in early February 2015. Nasheed was arrested less than two weeks later.
“I know that the verdict passed on [Nasheed] was not written by a judge from a judicial court and I know who prepared that verdict as well,” Adeeb wrote, adding that the “first draft” sentenced Nasheed to 10 years in jail with a three-year suspension.
“I have information that would prove that President Mohamed Nasheed’s verdict was produced by influencing both the judges who presided over the case as well as the entire judiciary,” he added.
Earlier this month, Adeeb, who is serving a 33-year jail sentence on multiple charges of graft and terrorism, also offered to prove Nazim’s innocence if the Supreme Court reviews his case.
The apex court upheld both Nasheed and Nazim’s verdicts despite widespread condemnation over apparent due process lapses, disqualifying both from challenging President Abdulla Yameen in next year’s presidential election.
In the face of the political crisis triggered by the imprisonment of the political opponents, Yameen maintained that the chief prosecutor and judiciary are independent of executive influence.
Nasheed was found guilty of ordering the military to “abduct” and detain the criminal court’s former chief judge in January 2012.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a panel of independent human rights experts, later found that Nasheed’s imprisonment was illegal and “politically motivated”. The government failed to explain how the arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, carried out by the Maldivian National Defence Forces under an order by a third party, could constitute terrorism, the rights group ruled in September 2015.
The 49-year-old was granted asylum in the UK in May last year after he was authorised to travel for medical treatment amid mounting international pressure.
Nasheed’s lawyers meanwhile told the press that the apex court has a responsibility to review the case in light of the new information from Adeeb.
“The letter to the Supreme Court from former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb is as stunning as it is unsurprising,” said Nasheed’s international lawyer Jared Genser.
“We already knew that the three judges in President Nasheed’s case were bribed to convict him. But Adeeb is now prepared to explain how the entire sham case against President Nasheed was fabricated and who was responsible.
“In light of these explosive revelations, which must be viewed as highly credible given Adeeb is also implicating himself in this wrongdoing, the Supreme Court must immediately interview him and then reverse President Nasheed’s conviction, exonerating him completely.”