Government denies deal over Nasheed’s exit from Indian High Commission

The Maldives government has denied it conceded to a deal with the Indian government which resulted in former President Mohamed Nasheed leaving the Indian High Commission on Saturday afternoon, after 11 days in protected diplomatic territory.

A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today (February 24), stressed that Nasheed’s exit was not negotiated with the Indian government, adding that it cannot and will not negotiate regarding the charges put against the former president.

“Mr Nasheed went into the High Commission on 13 February 2013 seeking India’s ‘assistance’, and his continued stay and his decision to leave the High Commission was an issue between himself and the Indian High Commission,” the statement reads.

“The government of Maldives’ only involvement in the issue was in the implementation of the court order on the police to produce Nasheed to the court. The said court order expired on Wednesday, 20 February 2013.”

“The government of Maldives also wishes to reiterate its clear and firm position that it cannot, and will not, negotiate the charges laid against Mr Nasheed for unlawfully arresting a judge during his presidential tenure, in January 2012,” the statement continues.

The statement notes that upholding the rule of law and respecting the independence of the three arms of government were a “fundamental pillar” of President Mohamed Waheed administration.

“The charges are laid by the prosecutor general which is an independent institution under the constitution of Maldives. The government has made this position clear to all of its external friends, including India.”

Last night however, UK-based newspaper Daily Mail reported that Nasheed left the high commission following a “deal brokered by New Delhi with the Maldives government”.

The paper claimed that while New Delhi had been accused of shielding a “fugitive” by senior officials in the Maldives, it sent a high-level team to “sort out” the diplomatic crisis.

“Nasheed was assured that that he would be allowed the political and social space that he wants till the elections, but he was made to accept that he would follow the legal process,” a source was quoted as telling the Daily Mail.

The article stated the high-level team sent from India met with various Maldivian officials, including the defence minister and attorney general, to negotiate Nasheed’s “exit conditions”.

According to the Daily Mail, Nasheed was told that his political career would be destroyed “forever” should he stay inside the Indian High Commission, and that his opponents would use it against him in the run up to the September elections.

The Maldivian government was meanwhile told its “rigidity” would impact the country economically and prompt the international community to consider sanctions over possible human rights violations, the source told the publication.

Nasheed’s trial

Nasheed sought refuge inside the Indian High Commission after the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court issued an arrest warrant for police to produce the former president at the court for his trial hearing on February 13.

Nasheed has maintained that the charges against him – of detaining the Chief Criminal Court Judge during his final days in office – are a politically-motivated effort to prevent him contesting the 2013 elections.

A second arrest warrant was issued by the court on February 18 whilst Nasheed was still inside the Indian High Commission and required police to bring Nasheed to Hulhumale’ court on February 20.

The warrant expired after the hearing was cancelled following Nasheed’s refusal to leave the commission building for his scheduled trial.

After 11 consecutive days inside the High Commission, Nasheed emerged on Saturday (February 24) and subsequently held a press conference in the Dharubaaruge exhibition hall, across the street from the party’s former protest site at Usfasgandu.

Nasheed emphasised his desire for stability to be restored, following eight days of continuous protests by the MDP, dozens of police arrests, and a violent attack on a Maldivian journalist.


8 thoughts on “Government denies deal over Nasheed’s exit from Indian High Commission”

  1. Gabriela Knaul, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers has just concluded her mission in the Maldives. Guess what she said?

    She stated that the Judicial Services Commission is essentially not fit for purpose. Where did we hear that before. Ah, yes, the ICJ said the same thing years ago. The arguments are the same as we have been saying for a long time. The JSC cannot and should not include politicians.

    She also said that the Hulumale Court is not the right place for Nasheed's trial. This is coming from one of the most senior lawyers at international level and not from an MDP "stooge".

    Guess what Waheed will say? Yes, you guess it right. "There is nothing MY government can do". Yeah, right.

  2. By saying that there was no deal, they have confirmed that there "was" a deal. It is common logic, Nasheed won't be coming out of Indian High Comission unless a deal is already brokered and mediated internationally.

  3. Ahmed Bin Addu bin Suvaadeeb seems to be well aware of what ICJ said years ago. Perhaps one of the few people in Maldives who know what ICJ is.

    Guess who this is..

  4. @ICJ on Sun, 24th Feb 2013 9:19 PM

    "Ahmed Bin Addu bin Suvaadeeb seems to be well aware of what ICJ said years ago."

    It's right here infront of your eyes. By sheer coincidence that was published almost exactly 2 years ago. Google is your friend.

    The words of Roger Normand, Director of the ICJ’s Asia Pacific operations:

    “To have a sudden change, where suddenly judges are independent – this can’t just be signed on a piece of paper or constitution, it’s an attitude and a practice,”

    Absolutely nothing appears to have changed in the two intervening years. Yes, indeed, "there's nothing MY government can do about it, sorry".

  5. why's the daily mail reporting things that local papers don't seem to know about? and who is suvadeeb really?

  6. There can not be any deal down by Government and Fili Nasheed realized that he can not stay in side the the embassy for ever.

    Both Nasheed and India have mis judge how the government would react to the situation.

    Fili Nasheed had thought that police will barge into the embassy to arrest him because they had " court Order". But the leaders in this government are not stupid like Fili Nasheed and they never got trap into this .

    India see Fili Nasheed's weakness and understand that they can use him to conquer Maldives and manipulate in our domestic affairs there by hijacking the trade in Maldives. Trade hijacking is the way forward to invade the countries in this era and not with fire guns.

    JSC consist of the people who were appointed by Nasheed and so it speaks itself of failure of Nasheed.

  7. First came the British Foreign Secretary, calls from US, European commissions in Colombo, a visit by the Indian External Affairs boss, the UN lady and finally the brutal attempt to kill a journalist....

    Even super powers negotiate with their enemies behind the scenes but in public and on media they continue their rhetoric.

    Nasheed is a free man, but on condition peace prevails till elections are done. In his brief speech after walking out of the embassy, his body language, his blooming face and the incomplete answers said it all.

    At least we have some peace on the streets, women can go back and tend to their children, students can now concentrate on books, tourists can now enjoy shopping in Male, and thank god the riot police can go back to the dens.

    That's why its said 'politics is a dirty game' never know what happens behind the scenes! Thank you to those who brought peace back, at least for now.

  8. There are inherent structural issues with the JSC. To me that is just one side of a multifaceted conundrum. Even when what is written sounds wonderfully wise, when those who sit to implement and execute the written word are not up to the mark with serious moral turpitude how does one expect the wonderful written word will be implement and not corrupted through delivery. What we have in the Maldives is a prime case of corrupt people executing wonderful words.


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