Jailed former MP Ahmed Nazim left to Singapore on Thursday to undergo a locally unavailable test on his nerves after a court hold on his passport was lifted.
The prisons authority granted the former deputy speaker a 15-day leave to seek medical treatment.
Nazim, a former close associate of President Abdulla Yameen, was admitted at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on November 10. In April this year the Supreme Court in a controversial verdict sentenced him to 25 years in jail on a corruption charge.
His lawyer Fareesha Abdulla told the Maldives Independent that two weeks is not enough time for proper treatment.
“It is enough time to do the test but if the doctor wants to do a follow-up consultation, more tests or give further treatment, two weeks will not be enough time,” she said.
Nazim was unable to leave as scheduled last Sunday despite permission from the Maldives Correctional Services. The department of immigration had seized his passport on orders from Supreme Court in early February this year.
He had previously undergone two backbone surgeries and was recently being treated for severe back pain. Nazim is also experiencing numbness of the limbs, because of a lack of physiotherapy and regular exercise.
A doctor had recommended that Nazim should undergo three spinal surgeries and one procedure on his arm for a bone infection in his thumb, Fareesha said. The latter was a minor injury that developed because of infrequent consultations with doctors, she added.
Nazim, who is diabetic, was given medication because his diabetes was uncontrollable even with regular insulin, Fareesha explained.
“However, when the condition still remained the same, the doctor said he suspected he had cancer,” she said. Doctors would only be able to confirm after the medical tests in Singapore, she added.
Nazim had previously lodged a complaint with the human rights watchdog over alleged mistreatment by prisons officers in state custody.
In mid-September, the MCS had also granted former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim leave to seek treatment in Singapore, but family members have asked to be allowed to travel to India instead.
His brother-in-law Ismail Hameed told the Maldives Independent that Singapore is very expensive and that state healthcare scheme Aasanda does not cover hospitals there. The family had submitted a list of hospitals covered by Aasandha.
The retired colonel’s family received a letter today granting a medical leave of seven days to seek treatment in Singapore.