Former Maldives president Muhammad Nasheed arrested

MALE: Former Maldives president Muhamed Nasheed was taken into custody on Tuesday from his residence in Male for illegally detaining a Criminal Court Judge Abdullah Muhammad during the last days of his rule.

After having escaped two previous arrest warrants by taking refuge in Indian High Commission, Nasheed was arrested on Tuesday after a third arrest warrant issued against him.

On February 23, Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, left the premises of Indian embassy, eleven days after he took refuge in the commission to evade an arrest warrant that was issued after he missed a February 10 court appearance in a case relating to accusations that he illegally detained a judge during the last days of his presidency.

If found guilty, Nasheed could be sentenced to a maximum of three years in jail or banished to a remote island or a fine not exceeding MVR 2,000.  If he is convicted and sentenced to a period of more than one year, he would be disqualified from contesting in the upcoming Presidential election.

As the leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Nasheed claims he was forced to resign as president in February last year to allow current President Mohammed Waheed Hassan to take office. President Hassan, however, denied the allegations.