Trials of a dozen opposition lawmakers charged with obstruction of law enforcement are resuming this week after a hiatus of several months.
Jumhooree Party MP Ali Hussain was summoned for a pre-trial hearing Sunday and given two days to appoint a lawyer.
According to media reports, Judge Adam Arif told the Kendhoo MP that he wanted to conduct the trial together for the dozen defendants but it has been stalled due to his failure to inform the court of his legal counsel.
During previous hearings, Ali Hussain told the court that his lawyer was unable to represent him because he was among the lawyers suspended by the Supreme Court last year.
MPs Abdulla Shahid and Mohamed Aslam from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party have meanwhile been summoned for hearings Tuesday morning.
Aslam tweeted: “Ready to go to police, ready to go to court, and ready to jail as well, but sorry #JazeeraRaees campaign cannot be stopped.”
The veteran lawmaker from Addu City was appointed campaign manager of former president Mohamed Nasheed’s bid to win the MDP’s ticket.
MDP MP @aslamdp, my recently appointed Presidential primary campaign manager, has been summoned to the criminal court. The ongoing political persecution of opposition members must stop in order for free and fair elections to take place.
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) May 13, 2018
Received a Criminal Court summons for 10 am 15 May. 12 Opposition MPs scheduled to appear in court for "entering the Parliament" on 24 July 2017. pic.twitter.com/7hy9ia8Eot
— Abdulla Shahid 🎈 (@abdulla_shahid) May 13, 2018