Mohamed Nasheed released from police custody

Published: 06th March 2013 08:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2013 08:41 PM   |  A+A-

maldives_nasheed_AP
By IANS

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed was released from police custody Wednesday after his court hearing was concluded, officials said.

Maldivian Democratic Party spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor told Xinhua that Nasheed's lawyers had requested the court to delay the trial after the presidential elections in September but the court had refused to heed the request, only agreeing to delay the case by four weeks.

"Nasheed has been sent home for the moment. His court hearing lasted for around an hour amidst very tight security. Despite the prosecutor general and Nasheed's lawyers' proposal to delay the case till after the upcoming elections, the court decided to delay the case by a mere four weeks," Gafoor said.

Gafoor maintained that Nasheed's party members and his followers were deeply concerned for his safety as the security provided to him was not adequate.

"It is the state that has provided Nasheed's security and yesterday (Tuesday) his bodyguards were abused and shoved aside by police. So we are definitely worried about Nasheed's safety as there is a threat to his life," Gafoor said.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Imad Mashood told Xinhua following Wednesday's hearing that Nasheed had walked out of court as a free man.

Police presented Nasheed in court for his trial over the unconstitutional arrest and detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed while he was president.

Nasheed was arrested and taken to the Dhoonidhoo detention facility Tuesday afternoon after Hulhumale magistrate court had scheduled a hearing of his trial Wednesday and issued an arrest warrant against him.

Nasheed had evaded previous two arrest warrants by seeking diplomatic shelter in the Indian High Commission in Male. He had taken shelter in the Indian Mission for 11 days last month to evade arrest after he failed to appear in court.

Over 80 people have been arrested within 24 hours by riot police after violent protests broke out in the streets of Male following Nasheed's arrest.

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