Nasheed trial unjust, says Adhaalath President Imran

The terrorism trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed is unjust, the religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) President Sheikh Imran Abdulla has said.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Nasheed is being tried in the Criminal Court for allegedly ordering the arrest of the court’s Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed in 2012 while in office. If found guilty of the charge, Nasheed faces a jail term between 10 and 15 years.

At last night’s hearing the Criminal Court judges Abdulla Didi, Abdul Bari Yoosuf, and Sujau Usman rejected Nasheed’s witnesses, saying that they would not counter the state’s claims.

“Nasheed is not being tried fairly. Treating Nasheed fairly and justly is what we believe in,” Adhaalath president Imran told VTV.

On Sunday, the party withdrew its support for President Abdulla Yameen citing “increased violence and corruption” within the government. Although Adhaalath is yet to join the opposition Jumhooree Party (JP) and MDP coalition, they have said the party would be willing to sit down for discussions.

“The tension between [political rivals] should not result in the disregarding his [Nasheed’s] rights.”

Nasheed’s legal team refused to continue with his defence yesterday, claiming the court had not given them adequate time to prepare. The Criminal Court bench presiding over Nasheed’s trial dismissed his request to hire new lawyers stating they had already been given enough time.

At every opportunity Nasheed repeated his request for legal counsel of his choosing, and reiterated his belief that the trial was unjust and unlawful.

Judge Didi was with Judge Abdulla in his home when the military had arrested him. Judge Abdulla had called Judge Bari to inform him of the arrest shortly before he was arrested.

Previously Nasheed’s lawyers had requested that judges Bari and Abdulla Didi step down from the bench. But the Criminal Court bench had ruled they had no conflict of interest which would require them to retire from the case.

Along with Nasheed, former Chief of Defence force and current Defence Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel, ex-Malé area commander for the military MP Ibrahim Didi, ex-colonel Mohamed Ziyad and Nasheed’s Defence Minister Thalhath Kaleyfaanu also face terrorism charges regarding the detention of Judge Abdulla.