The arrested former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, gave a fiery response to housing minister Dr. Mohamed Muizzu who visited him in prison on Wednesday as an envoy of President Abdulla Yameen.
Muizzu had visited Maumoon, and the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed, who are under arrest over allegedly giving and accepting bribes to stage a coup against the elected government in the beginning of this month. In a tweet, Muizzu said that he had inquired after their health and the conditions of their prison cells but did not give further details.
On Thursday, Maumoon’s lawyer Hussain Shameem revealed that his client had told Muizzu that his visit was not out of concern but was “to put up an appearance” by President Yameen.
Shameem, with whom Maumoon had shared details of the visit, said that the former president had listed all of his complaints and agonies to the housing minister. Maumoon had told Muizzu that his arrest was unlawful, accusing President Yameen of illegally declaring a state of emergency on February 5 in order to take him.
“He told [Muizzu] that the conditions and facilities of the prison were poor, and about how he wasn’t allowed to talk to his family and lawyers,” said Shameem.
Maumoon had also highlighted that he had highly campaigned to bring Yameen to power, proclaiming that the incumbent president, who is Maumoon’s estranged half-brother, would not have won the Presidential Elections 2013 without the former’s support.
Citing Maumoon, Shameem said that Muizzu had listened to the former president in silence. However Maumoon had added that the housing minister would not have the nerve to convey his words to Yameen.
Shameem further stated that Muizzu’s visit had clashed with a prearranged meeting between Maumoon and his legal team. Thus the lawyers’ visit to Maumoon was postponed.
Voicing concerns over state figures meeting detainees in the absence of their lawyers, Shameem requested that such meetings be not held.