Ex defense minister’s wife charged with illegal weapons possession

Former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim’s wife has been charged with the illegal possession of weapons and arms, lawyers have confirmed.

Afaaf Abdul Majeed has been summoned to a first hearing at the Criminal Court on February 25, at 4:00pm, despite having received no indication she was under suspicion for possessing illegal weapons, lawyer Maumoon Hameed said.

“Afaaf has received a summons. But we have not received any additional information other than what was provided on the summons. We do not even know which laws the state is charging her under. We are yet to receive the court documents,” he said.

Hameed said Afaaf had been questioned over the controversial discovery of a pistol, bullets and an improvised explosive device at the former Defense Minister’s residence on January 18, but the police had not questioned her again afterwards.

“Apart from the statements police took from all family members during the alleged discovery of weapons from Nazim’s residence, no other investigative processes involving Afaaf has taken place.”

The Prosecutor General’s (PG) Spokesperson Adam Arif declined to comment on the case. Meanwhile, a Criminal Court Spokesperson was unable to confirm if the PG had filed charges against Nazim and his wife.

Nazim is currently in police custody over terrorism and treason charges. The Maldives Police Services said the former minister had been plotting to overthrow President Abdulla Yameen’s administration and was planning to harm senior government officials.

Nazim’s lawyers say the weapons were planted at his house and say he is being framed.

According to lawyers, Specialist Operations (SO) officers forced open Nazim’s door in the early hours of the morning on January 18, gathered Nazim, his wife and two children in the sitting room, and spent at least ten minutes without independent oversight in the then-minister’s bedroom. Shortly afterwards, investigative officers arrived on the scene, checked Nazim’s bedroom in his presence and discovered the weapons in a bedside drawer.

The police insist they were unaware whose house they were raiding.

Nazim was dismissed as Defense Minister on January 20, and subsequently declared no citizen was safe in the Maldives. He was arrested days after the police filed charges at the Prosecutor General’s office.

The Criminal Court on February 11 remanded Nazim for 15 days. The High Court upheld the detention on February 19.

Lawyers are appealing the police’s search warrant at the High Court.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, also arrested for terrorism charges yesterday (February 22), and Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim have repeatedly called for Nazim’s immediate release from custody, accusing the government of “framing” the former minister.

Opposition parties have described Nasheed and Nazim’s arrest as President Abdulla Yameen’s efforts to silence opposition voices and to disqualify presidential contenders.

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