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Ex-pres Maumoon remanded until end of trial

Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 March 2018, MVT 17:33
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom arrives in a police speedboat for a remand hearing at the Criminal Court on March 20, 2018. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 March 2018, MVT 17:33

The Criminal Court on Wednesday ordered to remand the arrested former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, until the end of his trial.

Maumoon was arrested under the state of emergency declared February 5, accused of attempting to topple the government of his estranged half-brother and incumbent president, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. The state charged Maumoon with terrorism and obstructing justice on Tuesday.

The court extended his remand Wednesday afternoon after cancelling the initial remand hearing scheduled for the previous day. The issue had sparked outrage as Maumoon had been summoned and made to wait inside the court for seven hours before the cancellation was announced.

Speaking to reporters after the remand hearing, his lawyer Maumoon Hameed declared that the former president’s remand extension will be appealed at the High Court as soon as possible.

Lawyer Maumoon Hameed further claimed that his client’s detention was unlawful. Noting that it was after Maumoon’s arrest that the government had suspended the clause in the Constitution which stipulates arrested persons to be brought before a judge regarding their remand within 24 hours, the lawyer declared that his client should have been brought to court on February 6, and his subsequent detention was thus unconstitutional.

Meanwhile the Criminal Court on Tuesday night had also ordered to remand Judge Ali Hameed of the Supreme Court until the end of his trial. Maumoon and Hameed, along with Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, were arrested under the SOE, and all have been charged with terrorism over allegedly attempting a coup by abusing the powers of the Supreme Court.

The Criminal Court will also reach a decision Wednesday regarding the remands of others arrested under the SOE, including Maumoon’s lawmaker son Faris Maumoon, his son-in-law Ahmed Nadeem, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, Chief Judicial Administrator Hassan Saeed, and former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef.

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