A day after he was arrested, former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed was today virtually dragged by the security forces to be presented before the Criminal Court, which ruled that the opposition leader will remain in custody until the case against him was complete.
47-year-old Nasheed was arrested yesterday under anti-terrorism laws for allegedly ordering the arrest a senior judge in 2012 that triggered violence in the Indian Ocean island.
Amid high drama, Nasheed, who was escorted by the police to the Court, suddenly stopped when faced by reporters.
“He fell to the ground and had his shirt torn when the Special Operations officers escorting him attempted to forcefully drag him into court, despite him repeatedly saying he wanted to go in on his own,” the local media reported.
In the Court, the Judge ruled that Nasheed will remain in custody till the case was complete. Nasheed’s lawyers are expected to appeal against the verdict, sources said.
Earlier, at a press conference, Nasheed’s legal team claimed that the Criminal Court informed the lawyers this morning that they had to register at the court two days in advance to present the former President during the hearing today.
“How can we submit forms two days ahead for a trial we did not know would take place two days before? It is clear to any sane person, this is absolute nonsense,” said Hisaan Hussain, one of the legal advisor to Nasheed was quoted as saying by the Minivan News.
Nasheed was arrested from his residence yesterday afternoon under a warrant, issued by the Criminal Court which stated that he was being arrested on suspicion that he may abscond from trial.
Nasheed had taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Male to avoid being arrested in connection with the same case in February 2013.
Maldives’ first democratically elected leader in 2008, Nasheed claimed that he was forced to quit in February 2012 after soldiers and police mutinied and overran his party’s headquarters in the capital Male.
However his successor, Mohamed Waheed, who had been serving as vice-president, had said Nasheed left of his own accord following protests against his order to arrest the judge.
Waheed lost the controversial November 2013 presidential election to Yameen, the half-brother of former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Nasheed’s MDP asked the Maldives Prosecutor General and President Yaameen Abdul Gayoom to immediately release the leader.