Former Maldives President sentenced to 13-year imprisonment

Former Maldives President sentenced to 13-year imprisonment

In a major development, former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed was tonight sentenced to 13-year imprisonment by a criminal court here under the anti-terrorism laws.

In a court hearing late tonight, Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader who was arrested on February 22 over the detention of a judge in 2012, was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1990, highly-placed sources told PTI.

"The Anti-Terrorism Act, inter alia, classifies an act of terrorism to include kidnapping, holding as hostage or apprehending someone against their will or attempts to kidnap, hold hostage or apprehend someone without their will, for the extrajudicial enforced disappearance of the sitting Chief Judge of Criminal Court," the sources said, quoting the court judgement.

47-year-old Nasheed resigned as the Maldives' leader in February 2012 after a mutiny by police and troops that followed weeks of protests over the arrest of judge Abdullah Mohamed on corruption allegations.

Criminal charges in the country are brought by the Prosecutor General of the Maldives as per the Article 220(a) of the Constitution of Maldives.

The Prosecutor General's case was based on the investigation report of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives into the kidnaping of the Judge.

India had expressed concerned over the developments in the Maldives, including the "arrest and manhandling" of Nasheed, and asked all the involved to resolve their differences within the constitutional framework.

Nasheed had taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Male to avoid being arrested in connection with the same case in February 2013.

He claimed that he was forced to quit in February 2012 after soldiers and police mutinied and overran his party's headquarters in the capital Male.

However his successor, Mohamed Waheed, who had been serving as vice-president, had said Nasheed left of his own accord.

Waheed lost the controversial November 2013 presidential election to Yameen, the half-brother of former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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