MALE: The president of the Maldives on Tuesday accused judges of plotting to overthrow him, hours after he declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of the chief justice.
"I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges," President Abdulla Yameen said in a televised address to the nation.
"We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was."
He said Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed was trying to illegally impeach him and sack the attorney general.
"We will find out why this happened. How thick this plot is. How deep the roots go," he said.
"I ask the people to support me. Give me the chance to get to the bottom of this."
Yameen earlier ordered the arrest of the chief justice, another judge Ali Hameed, and the registrar of the court, Hassan Saeed.
He said the court had exceeded its authority under the constitution, forcing him to take action.
Yameen's moves to shut down parliament and order armed troops to stage a dawn raid on the Supreme Court have sparked international concern and warnings against travel to the upmarket holiday paradise.