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Ex-pres' absence again forces court to cancel hearing

Fathmath Shaahunaz
26 April 2017, MVT 16:08
Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed poses during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 20, 2017. VALERIE MACON / AFP
Fathmath Shaahunaz
26 April 2017, MVT 16:08

The Criminal Court cancelled the second hearing of Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s second terrorism charge case, which was scheduled for Wednesday, as he was not present at court.

The state pressed terrorism charges against Nasheed this year for arresting and arbitrarily detaining incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in July 2010 during the former’s administration. The former president has already been convicted on terrorism charges for the arbitrary detention of a judge during his regime for which he is sentenced to 13 years in jail. Nasheed had fled to the United Kingdom where he has been living under political asylum for over a year.

He is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka.

The court had cancelled the first hearing of Nasheed’s second terrorism charge last month as well due to a delay in delivering the court summons.

According to the Constitution, hearings of criminal trials cannot proceed in the absence of the defendant.

Police first arrested President Yameen during Nasheed’s administration with accusations of plotting to topple the government. Following the Supreme Court’s order to release him, Nasheed had then placed him under military custody in Kaafu atoll Aarah island “for protection”. The Civil Court had subsequently ordered compensation to President Yameen for his detention, but after rising to power, President Yameen informed the state that he does not want the money.

The former Minister of Defence Ameen Faisal is also undergoing trials over President Yameen’s detention.

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