Maldives MP arrested for attempting to overthrow Government

Maldivian lawmaker Faris Maumoon has been arrested, police confirmed Saturday, days after he was released from custody.

Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan said the politician was arrested in relation to an ongoing investigation. He did not give further details.

Faris’ lawyers told RaajjeTV the charges were attempting to overthrow the government.

The arrest warrant, a copy of which has been seen by the Maldives Independent, says the charges are bribing lawmakers and attempting to overthrow the government with the help of some politicians.

There are also suspicions that if Faris remains free he will obstruct the investigation, hide evidence, tamper with evidence, destroy evidence and influence eyewitnesses. An anonymous witness gave the evidence upon which the warrant is based, the warrant also said.

He was transferred to a police detention facility on Dhoonidhooi island.

US Ambassador to the Maldives Atul Keshap criticised the arrest, saying the circumstances around it suggested that the due process of law and fair play in politics remained under threat in the country.

Faris’ father and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom tweeted earlier: “Police have forced their way into Endherimaage (Gayoom’s home in Malé) against the instructions on the court order.

“The court warrant ordered the search of places related to Faris Maumoon. There is no room or office belonging to Faris Maumoon in Endhirimaage. Even after they were told this, they forced their way in and are searching the house.” (Courtesy Maldives Independent)