The first hearing of a defamation case filed by Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim against former President Mohamed Nasheed took place at the Civil Court today, with MVR 3.75 million (US$243,506) being sought in compensation.
The hearing was attended by legal representatives for both Mohamed Nazim and former President Nasheed, who was today detained by police for a separate criminal trial over the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Nazim’s lawyer told the court that the defence minister’s good name and reputation had been affected by claims made by Nasheed, who had called his client a traitor during a public address at a rally following February’s controversial transfer of power.
Newspaper ‘Haveeru’ reported at the time that following Nasheed’s speech, a group of protesters came outside Nazim’s house and that it had “left Nazim’s family in fear”.
Former Youth Minister Dr Hassan Latheef attended today’s hearing to represent Nasheed, telling the presiding judge that the former president denied the charges against him.
Latheef told the court that evidence would be provided to support Nasheed’s allegations, adding that the former president would want to produce such evidence to the court.
The next hearing for the case is now expected to take place will held a week on Thursday (October 18) . The presiding judge also said that during the next hearing Nasheed’s lawyer will get his chance to respond to the charges.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed was arrested this morning after Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court issued an arrest warrant. The warrant was issued after Nasheed ignored court summons to produce himself to the court for the hearing of a case filed against him for ‘’unlawful’’ arrest of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.
Nasheed was at Fresmathoda Island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll campaigning for the next presidential elections when he was arrested.
Another case of defamation has also been filed by Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz at the Civil Court against Nasheed. A hearing in to the case was recently scheduled but before the scheduled time it was cancelled. Local media reports say that the hearing was postponed upon Riyaz’s request.
Back in April, the Maldives Police Service had forwarded a case concerning alcohol bottles allegedly confiscated from the home of Nasheed to the Prosecutor General’s (PG’s) Office.
A source with knowledge of the case has told Minivan News that the PG’s Office had decided that evidence provided by police at the time had not been obtained under the required procedures and regulations.
The source who wished to remain anonymous, said the PG had requested that police resubmit the case with evidence that was “legally obtained”, if the case was to proceed to a criminal hearing – a request that had not been forthcoming so far.
Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press for an official response.