Charges against former President Mohamed Nasheed for the 2012 detention of Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed have been withdrawn.
The Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office has withdrawn the case against both Nasheed and senior figures of his government – including the current defence minister Moosa Ali Jaleel, says media reports.
Speaking to Vnews during a protest outside the High Court hearing of former defense minister Mohamed Nazim this afternoon, Nasheed said that it was regrettable the case had dragged on so long.
Details of the decision will be revealed by the PG’s information officer, who was understood to be in the court at the time of publication. Nasheed’s legal team has said a statement will follow its own discussions with the PG.
Under the powers granted in the Prosecutor General’s Act and the Constitution, the PG has the authority to discontinue or withdraw for further review any case prior to judgement.
Nasheed and Jaleel stood accused of violating Article 81 of the Penal Code, for detaining a government employee who has not been found guilty of a crime.
Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party had suggested that the case was being expedited ahead of the introduction of the new Penal Code in April, with the potential three year sentence meaning that conviction would have ruled out a Nasheed presidential run in 2018.
The former president’s legal team had been in the process of challenging the assembly of the Hulhumalé Magistrates’ Court bench.
Abdulla Mohamed’s detention in January 2012 followed the failure of repeated attempts to investigate the judge’s conduct, with Nasheed citing grounds of national security.
The judge’s arrest by security forces led to an increase in tension on the streets of the capital, culminating in Nasheed’s resignation on February 7 after elements of the police and Maldives National Defence Force refused to obey his orders.
The Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report – released in August 2012 – found that the arrest had been “unconstitutional” and “illegal”, while the PG filed charges the previous June.
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