The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have denied media reports that a coast guard vessel had been dispatched to bring former President Mohamed Nasheed back to Male’ ahead of a court hearing rescheduled for Sunday (October 7).
The former president had been due before court on Monday (October 1) to stand trial over the controversial detention of a Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
However, Nasheed boycotted the hearing in protest at what he alleges is a lack of independence in the judiciary, opting instead to participate in a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) campaign in the southern atolls – defying a court order that he remain in the capital.
MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem told Minivan News that the coast guard was involved in “no such operation” to return Nasheed to Male’ after the Department of Judicial Administration yesterday confirmed police were “to produce” Nasheed to court on Sunday.
Raheem confirmed that a coast guard vessel had been dispatched to Addu Atoll today, but said this was unrelated to Nasheed’s campaigning and the subsequent court order.
Meanwhile, Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef today said authorities would enforce the court order to summon Former President Mohamed Nasheed to the court.
Speaking to Minivan News, Haneef said the Hulhumale’ Court order to summon Nasheed would be implemented, but declined to divulge further information.
Haneef did not say whether Nasheed would be detained before being produced to the court or how police would look to implement the order.
Department of Judicial Administration Director Ahmed Maajid yesterday confirmed that despite the court’s order, the former president was “not to be detained”.
However, newspaper ‘Sun’ reported it had confirmed a team of police officers had departed Male’ to bring Nasheed to court.
Nasheed dismissed the first hearing of the suit filed by the Prosecutor General (PG) on accusation of detaining Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.
According to MDP, the former President is currently at Gaafu Alifu Atoll campaigning for the next presidential elections expected to be held next year.
The summon order issued by the Hulhumale’ Court orders police to summon Nasheed to the court at 4:00pm on Sunday.
According to social media, supporters of Nasheed are joining him to come Male’ with him to attend the hearing of the case if police is to chase him down from Gaafu Alifu Atoll.
Nasheed has specifically been charged with violating Article 81 of the Penal Code, which states that the detention of a government employee who has not been found guilty of a crime is illegal.
If found guilty, Nasheed will face a jail sentence or banishment for three years or a Rf 3000 (US$193.5) fine, a sentence that would bar him from contesting the elections.
The same charges are pressed against Nasheed’s Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim and three Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Generals for being accomplice to Nasheed.
According to newspaper ‘Haveeru’, the hearing into the cases against Tholhath and Colonel Mohamed Ziyadh had been scheduled for today but was later cancelled. The court said the decision had been made as the judge presiding over the case was on sick leave.