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Supreme Court frees Sheikh Imran

Imran’s 12-year jail sentence was suspended pending a review of his terrorism conviction.



The Supreme Court has suspended Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla’s 12-year prison sentence pending a review of his controversial terrorism conviction.

A stay order was issued Thursday afternoon halting enforcement of the jail sentence.

The Supreme Court was asked last week to review to review its previous decision to reject Imran’s appeal.

Imran was sentenced over a speech he gave at a historic demonstration on May 1, 2015. He was found guilty of inciting violence and blamed for clashes with riot police.

The Adhaalath Party leader is the latest high-profile figure released by the courts since September’s presidential election. The opposition coalition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeated President Abdulla Yameen with a record margin of victory.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court also suspended the 13-year jail sentence of former president Mohamed Nasheed, paving the way for his return after nearly three years in exile.

Last month, the High Court overturned the convictions of Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who leads a breakaway faction of the ruling party.

Imran’s widely condemned conviction marked the first terrorism sentence passed in the Maldives over a speech made at a political gathering.