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Maldives' self-exiled ex-VP to defy police summon

Mohamed Visham
05 August 2016, MVT 21:10
Former vice president Jameel (R) pictured with his former boss president Yameen. FILE PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Mohamed Visham
05 August 2016, MVT 21:10

Self exiled former vice president and leader of the newly formed opposition coalition Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed will ignore the police summon to present himself in for questioning and has instead urged police to arrest incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Police have ordered Jameel to come in for questioning over the forged warrant to arrest the president within 14 days.

In addition to Jameel, police are also looking to question opposition aligned Raajje TV Chairman over the investigation.

Jameel and Akram are both currently living in exile in the United Kingdom.

Police have vowed to pursue legal action if the pair fail to obey the order.

Maldives United Opposition (MUO) in a statement on Friday alleged that the move to bring in its leader was an attempt by president Yameen to break up the coalition.

The statement also urged police not to obey illegal orders.

Jameel is ready to cooperate with the police but will only return to the Maldives after president Yameen is arrested for mass corruption, the statement said.

Opposition has continued to link president Yameen to the largest embezzlement of state funds.

Maldives Media and PR Corporation (MMPRC) had mediated the leasing of over 59 different tourist hotels, resorts and yacht marinas out of which 53 had been leased through an agreement with the tourism ministry.

More than USD79 million received by MMPRC was distributed through a private company.

President Yameen had been questioned by the ACC over a transaction that a company involved in the MMPRC scandal had made to his personal account in the Islamic Bank.

"Police must stop being a part of the government's efforts to destroy political opponents and instead arrest president Yameen over the major corruption allegations against him," the statement read.

Jameel had fled to the UK last July days before he was impeached in a controversial vote which was alleged to have been orchestrated by his eventual successor Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor who himself was impeached following a blast aboard the presidential speedboat.

Adheeb has now been convicted and sentenced to prison for orchestrating the blast, now confirmed as a plot to kill the president.

The newly formed opposition alliance had said it will seek to oust incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and form an interim government to ensure free and fair elections scheduled in 2018.

Five rival opposition groups had announced a united front to remove president Yameen from office.

The MUO brings together the Maldivian Democratic Party, the Adhaalath Party, two of Yameen’s former deputies and his former defence minister.

Meanwhile, the former chief prosecutor Muhuthaz Muhsin was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to 17 years in prison after the court found him guilty of forging the warrant to arrest the president.

The arrest warrant was issued from the Alif Dhaal Maamigili magistrate court in February. In addition to Muhuthaz, the chief magistrate of the court Ahmed Nihan was also sentenced to prison over the case.

A prosecution witness had testified that the warrant was sought on orders of the ex VP Jameel, an accusation he strongly denies.