Maldives court orders arrest of Nasheed

A Maldivian court has issued a new warrant to arrest former President Mohamed Nasheed, his political party said.

The Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) said that Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court had issued the new warrant over a case filed against him.

Nasheed had last week sought refuge in the Indian High Commission after the first warrant was issued by the same court for his arrest.

MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told the Colombo Gazette that Nasheed will remain in the Indian High Commission despite the new court order.

“We see this as an attempt to intimidate India to put Nasheed out of the Embassy so that the police can arrest him. The police will never force their way into the High Commission,” he said.

The Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court has ordered the police to produce Nasheed at the court on Wednesday evening.

The MDP does not recognize the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court saying it is being politically manipulates by the government, a charge the government denies.

UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul yesterday met President Dr Mohamed Waheed and discussed measures that could be taken by the government to strengthen the judicial system in the country.

Underlining on the importance of strengthening the Judiciary in establishing a successful democracy, President Waheed said the Maldives was optimistic that the country’s Judiciary could be strengthened with UN assistance, the President’s office said.

Knaul briefed the President on the report that would be prepared based on the information collected during her visit to the Maldives, on the independence of judges and lawyers, as well as the functioning of the justice system.

Report by Easwaran Rutnam