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Ex-defence minister Nazim authorised to seek medical care in India

The government has granted jailed former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim permission to seek medical treatment abroad. He has been authorized to leave the Maldives for seven days.



The government has granted jailed former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim permission to seek medical treatment abroad.

The retired colonel has been granted a period of seven days, said lawyer Husnu Suood.

“As soon as his travel documents are ready we will be taking him to Madurai hospital in India,” Suood said.

Nazim has been brought to Malé for consultations with the doctor on numerous occasions since his arrest in February.

The former minister was sentenced to 11 years in prison in March over a charge of weapons smuggling. The trial has been criticized for apparent lack of due process.

Nazim’s family has said he has been complaining of a discharge in his eyes. The doctor suspects this to be a result of kidney damage, family members have said.

Suood said Nazim was authorized to leave the Maldives after he wrote a letter to President Abdulla Yameen requesting his intervention as the civil court had rejected a request for medical treatment abroad.

“I sent the letter about a week ago, asking President Yameen to look into the case. We noted that we have now exhausted all legal options and the obstructions we have faced in getting him the required treatment,” the former attorney general said.

A family member, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Seven days is not enough, it will take two days for traveling. Doctor’s consultations, medical tests and reports will take more than five days. But we will proceed with this and ask for an extension.”

Nazim’s family had previously requested for reports of his consultations with the doctors. The home ministry has provided the necessary documents today.

On August 30, Nazim’s brother Adam Azim had told The Maldives Independent that the retired colonel’s eyesight was rapidly deteriorating and that doctors at the IGMH were unable to reach a definitive diagnosis.

Azim said problems with Nazim’s vision was first noticed when he was kept at the Dhoonidhoo detention center in February.

Nazim has sought treatment abroad once before. He left for Singapore in April after the Maldives Correctional Services (MCS) authorised a 45-day medical leave based on a doctor’s recommendation for Nazim to undergo tests that are unavailable in the Maldives.

An appeal of the weapons smuggling conviction at the High Court meanwhile remains stalled after the Supreme Court transferred two judges on the five-judge panel to a newly created regional branch in the south.

In August, Suood petitioned the Supreme Court to issue an order the appellate court to reconstitute a bench to hear the appeal.

Nazim’s trial coincided with the terrorism trial of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed. The opposition leader was sentenced to 13 years in jail over the military detention of a judge during his tenure.

The pair’s imprisonment sparked a six-month-long political crisis with daily protests.

The president of the religious conservative Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, is also under state custody, awaiting trial on terrorism charges. Imran has now been in jail for 134 days.