Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) will not allow any further extensions to opposition Jumhoory Party (JP)’s leader Qasim Ibrahim’s medical leave, his lawyers revealed on Monday night.
According to a statement that was released by his lawyers, Qasim was prepared to return to the Maldives on Monday when his final leave expired. He had even gone to the airport, but was not allowed to board the flight again.
The former Maamigili MP had to endure the same ordeal previously when he had gone to the airport to come back to the Maldives; however, Singapore Airlines did not allow him to board the plane “due to his critical health condition, as per the doctor’s recommendation.”
His lawyers revealed that the airline had told him that he was unfit for travelling this time as well.
MCS had informed Qasim’s family that, despite the three-month recovery time prescribed by the opposition leader’s doctor, he will not be granted a medical leave for that period.
His final leave extension expired on Monday. MCS had initially given Qasim a 10-days leave, and later gave another additional 10-days before his surgery.
Qasim's family was asked to bring him back and hand him over to the authorities by Monday, his lawyers said.
“His family has informed MCS that they were unable to fly him back to the Maldives because he wasn't allowed to board the flight,” the lawyer’s statement said.
The lawyers also revealed that Qasim has another test scheduled for October 19 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
According to Qasim’s doctors, he suffers from coronary artery disease which causes the main coronary arteries of the heart to narrow, and if the narrowing becomes critical, the patient can develop chest pains and shortness of breath among other symptoms.
His doctors have recommended to keep him under observation before and after his heart surgery, and advised him not to fly out for another three months while he is recovering.
The former lawmaker was given a hefty three-years, two-months and 12-day sentence for a bribery conviction in late August for comments he had made at an opposition rally held ahead of the opposition-lobbied censure motion against the parliament’s speaker last March. During his initial verdict hearing, Qasim had fainted in the court and was sentenced at a later hearing in absentia. Despite his verdict ordering authorities to make arrangements for the opposition leader to be sent abroad for treatment immediately, he was hospitalised in the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) for several days before MCS had made arrangements for him to leave.