The Edition


Germany grants special permission for Qasim to enter country

Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 November 2017, MVT 15:49
Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim speaks to Mihaaru. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 November 2017, MVT 15:49

The government of Germany has granted special permission for Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of opposition Jumhoory Party, to enter the country from Singapore for further medical treatment despite his status as a fugitive.

Former prosecutor general Hussain Shameem of Qasim’s legal team told Mihaaru on Tuesday that Qasim was accompanied to Germany by a team of doctors. According to his lawyers, Qasim has always sought medical attention for his ailments in Germany. Shameem added that his client was shifted based on the counsel of doctors in both Germany and Singapore.

The local tycoon and former lawmaker of Maamigili constituency is facing a jail sentence of three years, two months and 12 days on bribery charges. Following his conviction, Maldives Correctional Service had granted him a 10-day medical leave last September 6, to go abroad to Singapore to treat a serious heart condition. While MCS had refused to extend the leave for three months upon the request of his family, MCS had conceded and granted another 10 days after the family filed the official medical documents detailing the seriousness of his treatments.

MCS had extended Qasim’s medical leave three times before announcing that no further extensions will be granted, and ordered Qasim to return to the Maldives. However, his legal team later declared that Singapore Airlines had refused to grant Qasim passage on two counts due to his state of illness.

He has been declared a fugitive of the state for failing to return to the country within the given period.

Qasim’s temporary travel documents had expired earlier last month. His lawyer Hisaan Hussain revealed this Monday that the legal team had appeal to renew the documents in October, but MCS had refused, stating that they are still working with the police to bring the opposition leader back to the Maldives to serve his sentence.

He was convicted for bribery 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 the verdict ordering authorities to make arrangements for Qasim to be sent abroad for treatment immediately, he was hospitalised in state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) for several days before MCS finalised arrangements for him to leave.