Former President Mohamed Nasheed had threatened to indefinitely keep incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom under arrest after the latter was arbitrarily detained during Former President Nasheed’s administration, claimed the government in the Criminal Court on Sunday.
The state made the claim during Sunday’s hearing of Former Minister of Defence Ameen Faisal, who is charged with terrorism for arresting President Yameen in July 2010 and detaining him under military custody in the island of Aarah in Kaafu atoll. The state also put a secret witness forward to back the accusation that Former President Nasheed had said at that time that he would not release President Yameen.
According to the prosecution, the then Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu had told the secret witness via a phone call that President Yameen’s detention was unlawful. He had warned that, unless President Yameen were released, charges against Former President Nasheed were liable under Subject 61 of the Penal Code being practised at that time.
The witness had then met with Former President Nasheed at the President’s Office to pass on the warning, carrying a copy of the Penal Code’s Subject 61 as proof. However, Former President Nasheed had allegedly responded that he would not release President Yameen regardless.
The state has also put another witness forward against Former Defence Minister Ameen Faisal. The witness claims to have overheard Ameen Faisal threatening to break down the door of former lawmaker Ahmed Nazim’s house where President Yameen had been at the time of his arrest. According to the witness, Ameen Faisal had threatened to break down the door and forcefully take President Yameen to military headquarters. The witness added that President Yameen had had no choice but to go to Aarah island with the military officers.
Other evidences provided by the state against Ameen Faisal include a secret report on the case, a report on the arrest of President Yameen, the then PG Muizzu’s letter to the Defence Ministry demanding President Yameen’s release, the script of a press conference held by Former President Nasheed regarding the political situation of the time, and the Civil Court’s verdict ordering compensation for President Yameen over his arbitrary detention.
Meanwhile, the defence witnesses put forward by Ameen Faisal are President Abdulla Yameen, the then Chief of Defence Force and former Defence Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel, and the then legal head of the military Zubair Ahmed Manik.
Ameen Faisal’s defence attorney Abdulla Haseen requested President Yameen as a witness to confirm the authenticity of his statement and to seek his explanation regarding what had occurred during his arrest. Stressing the president’s import as a witness, he pleaded the court to summon President Yameen to the case.
Ameen Faisal has also requested permission to go abroad for medical treatment and tests due to poor health. Judge Ibrahim Ali responded that the judges will review his documents and reach a decision within this week.
The state is also pressing terrorism charges against Former President Nasheed in this case. However, his trial is on hold as he is not in the country.
Nasheed is already sentenced to 13 years in jail under terrorism charges over the arbitrary detention of a judge during his presidency. He has since fled to the United Kingdom where he has been living under political asylum for over a year.