Male, Maldives: Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed was on Sunday arrested by police on terror charges for having detained a top judge while in power, according to media reports.
The Maldives Police Service arrested the leader of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party from his home with a warrant from the Criminal Court.
Nasheed, who was ousted from the post of president in 2012, was arrested on “terrorism allegations for having arrested and detained Abdulla Ghazi, the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, during his administration”, the Haveeru news portal reported.
According to the warrant, police were ordered to arrest Nasheed so that he would “no opportunity to flee before trial”. He was taken to a prison in Dhoonidhoo Island.
The arrest triggered protests by his supporters, who gathered near his home and clashed with police, the report said.
Nasheed had angered the Maldives government by calling for Indian intervention to counter the possible imposition of emergency by President Abdullah Yameen.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Nasheed had claimed that the political crisis in the Maldives had deepened with the sacking of the country’s defence minister last month and the decision by Gasim Ibrahim of the Jamohree Party to withdraw support to Yameen.
Nasheed further claimed he would prove the majority of his alliance on the floor of parliament next month.
Reacting to Nasheed’s comments, Maldives Islamic Minister Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said on Sunday that religious extremists were backing Nasheed.
In February 2012, political unrest in the Maldives following the ouster of Nasheed briefly threatened the country’s vital tourism industry, which draws thousands of well-heeled visitors every year.
The sea-faring nation is important as it has become a new area of competition between India and China.
Its more than 1,000 islands sit astride the world’s most important east west shipping channel and its strategic location was appreciated by former colonial master Britain, which ran a military base there until 1976.
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