Maldives court orders further detention of Nasheed; India concerned
MALE (Reuters) – Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed will stay in police custody until his trial in a terrorism case is completed, a court ruled on Monday, prompting neighbour India to express concern.
Nasheed was arrested on Sunday after a criminal court said he might flee the country to avoid hearings on terrorism charges stemming from the arrest of a judge during his presidency in 2012.
He was brought to court on Monday and told the judge that police had dragged him into the premises, injuring him.
Judge Abdulla Didi gave Nasheed, the nation’s first democratically elected president, three days to appoint a lawyer and answer terrorism charges. He ordered police to hold him for the length of the trial.
New Delhi views the Maldives, a group of 1,190 coral islands southwest of India, as part of its sphere of influence.
“We are concerned at recent developments in the Maldives, including the arrest and manhandling of former President Nasheed,” an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said, adding political parties should resolve their differences within the constitutional framework.
Nasheed resigned as president in February 2012 after weeks of protests against his order to arrest the chief judge of the criminal court. A year later he lost an election to current president Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
“I have been shoved to the ground and my arm has been broken,” he told the court during his appearance on Monday. “Take me to a doctor and then you can issue your verdict.”
His party called for India to intervene. “The situation has given a legitimacy for intervention through mediation,” Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, a party spokesman said.
In recent years, China has been making a diplomatic push into South Asia with President Xi Jinping making a first visit last year.