Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim has dismissed allegations that former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim was conspiring with the business magnate’s Villa Group to harm senior government officials.
Speaking to reporters prior to departing for Colombo last night, Gasim dismissed the allegations as a “deliberate fabrication” intended to “frame” President Abdulla Yameen’s political opponents.
“We are talking about Colonel Nazim being framed and all of us Maldivian citizens know that what police are saying is self-contradictory,” he said.
At yesterday’s first hearing of Nazim’s trial on possession of weapons, State Prosecutor Adam Arif said documents on a pen drive confiscated from the then-defence minister’s apartment during a January 18 raid showed he was planning individual and joint operations, financed by the Villa group, to cause bodily harm to “senior honourable state officials.”
Gasim told reporters that Nazim was “not a madman to write a script and put it on a pen [drive],” adding that the government’s efforts to discredit Villa Group were regrettable.
“What this shows is that anyone who might contest the presidency is going to be framed,” Gasim said.
The Prosecutor General’s Office meanwhile withdrew charges against Nazim’s wife, Afaaf Abdul Majeed, after she was summoned to the first hearing of the weapons possession trial alongside the former defence minister yesterday.
Earlier this month, Gasim’s JP formed an alliance with the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to “defend the constitution” from alleged breaches by the administration of President Abdulla Yameen.
Gasim departed with a delegation of JP and MDP leaders to Colombo last night to “inform foreign diplomats about the current political situation of Maldives.”
MDP MP Abdulla Shahid said foreign diplomats would be informed about the “violations of the constitution by this government,” adding that “the world sees the government for what it is.”
Both Gasim and Shahid told reporters that they would be back tonight ahead of a mass demonstration planned for tomorrow (February 27).
Meanwhile, the anti-government demonstrations continued on the streets of the capital last night with protesters gathered at Malé’s main thoroughfare, Majeedhee Magu.
Protesters called for the immediate release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Nazim.
Senior members of both JP and MDP as well as MPs spoke at the rally and repeated calls for President Yameen’s resignation.
Speaking to Minivan News at the protest, Ahmed Ali, 29, vowed to join the mass rally planned for February 27.
“If not, in a couple of years I am sure my children would ask me what I did when a democracy turned into a dictatorship,” he said.
Mohamed Yoosuf, 47, expressed his discontent with the criminal justice system and the law enforcement authorities.
“The judiciary is political. The police are doing politician’s bidding. Even the Prosecutor General is a puppet on a string,” he said.
“The country’s entire justice system has gone down in ruins with the current government. We need to improve it,”said Mauroof Hameed, 30.
The government, however, insists that it is not responsible for the charges against Nasheed and Nazim, stating the trials were initiated by an independent Prosecutor General and tried through independent courts.
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