Jailed former President Mohamed Nasheed’s lawyers have requested criminal court judges to review its registrar’s decision to throw out a challenge to the opposition leaders re-imprisonment.
Lawyers say Nasheed’s jailing is “arbitrary and illegal,” noting the government had commuted his 13-year jail term to house arrest on July 19. The government, however, denies authorizing the transfer.
When the petition was first filed, the criminal court registrar said the Maldives Correctional Services was authorised to implement the jail sentence.
Speaking to The Maldives Independent, Nasheed’s lawyer Hassan Latheef said that the criminal court procedures allowed its judges to review the registrar’s decisions.
“We submitted the appeal on Sunday, but we have not heard from the court yet,” he said.
The acting registrar Mohamed Ibrahim in a statement on August 24 said: “As per the Prisons and Parole Act, the Maldives Correctional Services (MCS) is mandated to implement jail sentences issued by a court of law.”
Nasheed was sentenced to jail over the military detention of the criminal court’s Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in 2012. The trial was widely criticised for lack of due process.
Nasheed was taken back to jail by prison officers acting with Specialist Operations (SO) police officers on August 23, eight weeks after he was transferred to house arrest amid negotiations for an end to a prolonged political crisis.
When MCS officers entered the former president’s residence in Malé lawyers showed the officers a copy of an official document, dated July 19, showing his 13-year jail sentence had been permanently commuted to house arrest.
The government, however, claims the document is forged.
The police have raided Nasheed’s home and questioned his wife, Laila Ali, as part of the investigation into the document.
World leaders, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron, have renewed calls for Nasheed’s release.