Former defence minister Mohamed Nazim has appealed an 11-year jail term on weapons smuggling at the high court today.
Nazim’s defence team said the criminal court had failed to provide a required report into court proceedings by the 2pm appeal deadline today.
The US and UK have criticised Nazim’s trial for apparent lack of due process, and the opposition has been protesting daily for his release.
Nazim’s lawyers said the criminal court’s failure to provide the case report “hampered” his right to appeal and that the new 10-day appeal deadline was too short to file an appeal. The Supreme Court had shortened the 90 day appeal period to 10 days in January.
The retired colonel is currently in Singapore seeking emergency medical treatment unavailable in the Maldives. He left Malé on Friday with his wife.
“Nazim said to let the public know he will not flee and will return as soon as his treatment is completed,” a family member said.
Although inmates are usually allotted three months for overseas treatment, Nazim was only given 45 days. The home ministry authorised him to travel to Singapore only, despite the family saying Singapore was too expensive for medical care.
The inmate’s families are usually required to bear expenses for overseas medical treatment.
After a midnight police raid in January, officers said they had confiscated a pistol, bullets and a pen drive containing information that Nazim was plotting a coup d’etat and planning to harm the president, police commissioner and tourism minister. Nazim says the items were planted.
He requested permission to travel overseas three weeks ago after his doctor advised him to undergo some tests unavailable in the Maldives.
The family has declined to reveal details of Nazim’s medical condition, but said it needs to be monitored and treated.
No prison guards will travel with him, but the correctional service and a guardian from the family will come to an agreement under which the guardian will be responsible for the inmate.