Tags: AS | Maldives | Prisoners

Maldives Supreme Court Orders Release of Jailed Politicians

Thursday, 01 February 2018 04:38 PM

MALE, Maldives (AP) — The Maldives Supreme Court on Thursday night ordered the release of imprisoned politicians, including an ex-president and an ex-vice president who were jailed after trials that were internationally condemned.

The court overturned the verdicts and ordered retrials in a ruling that could allow the archipelago state's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, to challenge President Yameen Abdul Gayoom when he seeks re-election later this year.

The court said the guilty verdicts against the politicians had been influenced by the government. It also reinstated 12 lawmakers who had previously been declared as having lost their positions for switching allegiance to the opposition.

Gayoom has had a tight grip on power, controlling institutions like the judiciary, police and the bureaucracy. But he and his Progressive Party of the Maldives will lose a majority in the country's 85-member Parliament when the 12 lawmakers who had been ousted for supporting an opposition alliance return to Parliament.

Nasheed had been sentenced to 13 years in prison on terrorism charges but was allowed to go to Britain to seek medical treatment, where he received asylum.

The ruling could lead to him becoming eligible to run in the presidential election expected to take place between August and November.

Gayoom had been set to run for re-election virtually unopposed with all of his opponents either jailed or exiled.

Also named for release was Gayoom's former deputy Ahmed Adeeb, who had been jailed on accusations of plotting to kill Gayoom.

Adeeb in 2016 was sentenced to 33 years in prison for alleged corruption, possession of illegal firearms and planning to kill Gayoom by triggering a blast on his speedboat even though FBI investigators said they found no evidence of a bomb blast.

The Maldives, known for luxury tourist resorts, became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after decades of autocratic rule. However, it lost much of its democratic gains after Gayoom's 2013 election.

The government had no immediate comment on the court's ruling but the country's opposition alliance in a statement welcomed it and called for Gayoom's resignation — saying the ruling "effectively ends President Yameen's authoritarian rule."

The court also ordered the release of Gayoom's former defense minister Mohamed Nazim, leaders of two political parties, a former judge and a former state prosecutor general, who had been jailed under accusations including possessing illegal firearms, incitement of violence and conspiring to overthrow the government.

The trials were internationally condemned for alleged due process violations.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
The Maldives Supreme Court on Thursday night ordered the release of imprisoned politicians, including an ex-president and an ex-vice president who were jailed after trials that were internationally condemned.The court overturned the verdicts and ordered retrials in a ruling...
AS,Maldives,Prisoners
406
2018-38-01
Thursday, 01 February 2018 04:38 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved