The Criminal Court has remanded former Minister of Defence and National Security Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim for 15 days in police custody.
Nazim was arrested last night at around 1:15am and was taken to Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre.
Nazim’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed told Minivan News this morning (February 10) that his client was being charged with offences related to activities against the state, while his arrest form described the charges as terrorism and possession of illegal items.
Members from both the Adhaalath and the Jumhooree Party have today said they will join Nazim’s legal team, while the Prosecutor General’s Office has declined to comment on any aspect of the case.
Nazim himself tweeted news of his arrest to his followers shortly after 1am, also announcing that he had left the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.
A press conference by Nazim’s legal team is scheduled to be held tonight at VTV at 9pm, explained the law firm of Maumoon Hameed – Premier Chambers.
Meanwhile Adhaalath Party spokesman Sheikh Ali Zahir tweeted saying that he has decided to join Nazim’s defence team along with former Commissioner of Police MP Abdulla Riyaz.
Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla has been one of the few politicians to comment on the case today, tweeting his belief that Nazim would not kill anyone in order to gain power.
“Nazim has been treated with injustice. We are and have been against injustice,” read another post from Imran today.
Following comments made in the media regarding the charges yesterday, Riyaz told Minivan News that he was convinced the case was “purely political”.
“The legal team has prepared a very strong case, and can positively prove that the items found at Nazim’s house do not belong to him,” he said.
Nazim had been minister of defence since the controversial transfer of presidential power in February 2012, having delivered an ultimatum on behalf of mutinous police and military units demanding President Mohamed Nasheed’s unconditional resignation.
Prior to his dismissal, he was considered one of the most powerful figures within the government, holding the health portfolio as well as chair of the Local Government Association (LGA).
Special Operations officers raided Nazim’s home in the early hours of January 18, with police later saying they had found dangerous weapons – including a pistol and an explosive device during the search.
After initially expressing support for the minister, Nazim was dismissed from his position two days later, being replaced by Major General (retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel on January 20.
Police have maintained they were unaware that the home belonged to the defence minister prior to the raid, later telling media that the decision was made not to make arrests due to the profile of the suspect.
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