Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon on Wednesday was temporarily shifted to house arrest.
According to Maldives Correctional Service (MCS)’s spokesperson, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s son MP Faris was temporarily released as there are renovations underway at the area of Maafushi Prison where he was kept.
MP Faris’ lawyers told Mihaaru that they were not informed of the transfer, and that they were only made aware of it when they were about to visit their client in prison.
MP Faris was accused of bribing lawmakers ahead of the opposition lobbied censure motion against the parliament speaker back in March. His temporary shift to house arrest comes while his lawyers have appealed the Criminal Court’s decision to keep him remanded in Maafushi Prison until the end of his bribery trial.
MP Faris was also abruptly brought to Male on Tuesday for medical treatment, his family revealed. His family claimed that neither MP Faris nor MCS had informed them that he was being brought to Male, and they did not know that MP Faris was ill in any way. His family had gone to see him at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) as soon as they heard he was in Male, they said.
MP Faris’s father Maumoon thanked his half-brother president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom “for transferring MP Faris temporarily from prison to house arrest” via Twitter, shortly after he was released.
The former president, who is now part of the opposition coalition, also thanked God for bringing his son home after 85 days in prison.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Court has commenced the bribery trial of MP Faris, who is also facing a second trial next month on charges of identity theft for misusing the flag and logo of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).