Male: Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has been formally charged with illegally ordering the arrest of a senior judge of the criminal court here, a move that led to widespread protests and finally his ouster.
Maldives Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz has filed the criminal charge against former Nasheed and his then Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim.
The case was filed yesterday at the HulhuMale Magistrate Court. Nasheed and Tholhath stand charged with violating Article 81 of the Penal Code, which states that the detention of a government employee who has not been found guilty of a crime is illegal.
If found guilty, Nasheed and Tholhath will face a jail sentence or banishment for three years.
Last evening, Nasheed had said he is ready to face charges and to answer the case at the Court.
Nasheed is the second former President in country`s history to be charged after late President Ibrahim Nasir, who was convicted for during the Presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
The criminal court judge, Abdulla Mohamed, was put under military detention after the then government headed by Nasheed accused him of political bias, obstructing police, stalling cases, links with organised crime and "taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist" to protect key figures of the former dictatorship from human rights and corruption cases.
Despite pressures from both international and local parties and a direct order by the Supreme Court for his immediate release, Judge Abdulla had been detained in a military training facility at Kaafu Atoll Girifushi for 22 days.