Mohammed Nasheed, sentenced to 13 years in jail under anti-terrorism laws, today suffered another blow when the former Maldivian president’s appeal against his arrest order was dismissed by the High Court here.
The court threw out Nasheed’s appeal against his February 22 arrest as he refused to enter the courtroom for the first hearing of his appeal case in protest because his request to hold the hearing in public was rejected.
Nasheed, 47, had appealed the arrest order issued by the Criminal Court against him. He was arrested and ordered to be detained until the end of his terror trial by the court, stating that he had a history of “evading courts.”
Before the hearing was scheduled to be held today, Nasheed’s legal team requested to hold an open and public hearing.
However, only members of Nasheed’s legal team and family were allowed inside the courtroom. Nasheed then refused to enter the courtroom since the court had ignored his requests of an open hearing, Maldivian media reported.
The court also noted that they hold the authority to carry out a closed hearing, even if the legal team requests for an open one.
Talking about Nasheed’s refusal to attend the hearing, Ahmed Afeef, who is a member of the legal team, said that the Maldivian Democratic Party leader had refused to enter since the court decided to arrange a closed hearing. He said Nasheed had requested to do so, since the Constitution assures the right to an open hearing.
Nasheed and several top state officials of his administration faced terror charges for the controversial military detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge, Abdulla Mohamed in 2012.
The court on Friday had found Nasheed guilty of the charges pressed against him and had handed down a 13-year jail term to him.