The Criminal Court has granted Defense Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel three days to appoint a lawyer and answer terrorism charges for his role in the 2012 military operation to detain Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Jaleel was the Chief of Defense Forces at the time of Judge Abdulla’s arrest. Following the controversial transfer of power in February 2012, Jaleel was dismissed from his post.
He subsequently signed on to the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives in 2013 and ran in the party’s parliamentary primaries in 2014.
Jaleel was appointed to the Defense Minister’s post after former defense minister Colonel (retired) Mohamed Naizim was arrested and accused of possessing dangerous weapons last month.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed and his former Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, are also facing the same charges under the terrorism act, and have been given three days to appoint a lawyer at the Criminal Court.
Nasheed’s lawyers have alleged the opposition leader has been denied the right to legal counsel and the right to appeal prior to the court hearing.