Former Maldivian President freed after court appearance

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was freed by a court where he appeared after overnight detention.

Updated: Oct 09, 2012, 20:44 PM IST

Male: Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was today freed by a court where he appeared after overnight detention and was given 25 days to answer allegations of abusing power while in office.

A day after he was dramatically arrested, the prosecution submitted a total of 19 witnesses against Nasheed, along with material evidence of audio and video clips, letters and other documents.

The defence lawyers said that they needed a month to study the material evidences but the judges gave 25 days and fixed the next hearing for November 4.

Nasheed, 45, was let off after the court`s session.

He was arrested in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll Faresmathoda yesterday morning following an arrest warrant to produce him in court to face charges over the arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his tenure as President.

Nasheed had been kept in custody overnight at Dhoonidhoo detention facility.

He was forced to resign in February, following weeks of street protests against the arrest of the judge.

If found guilty Nasheed faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail or exile or a fine not exceeding MVR 2,000. If Nasheed is convicted and sentenced to a period of more than one year, he would be disqualified from contesting in the upcoming Presidential election.

Meanwhile, supporters of Nasheed had gathered near the Justice Building which had been cordoned off by the police.

Members of his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) gathered with placards calling for the release of the former President.

Hulhumale Magistrate Court had ordered the Police to produce Nasheed at court in custody after the ex-President had skipped two scheduled hearings of the case and departed on a campaign tour to the southern Atolls of Maldives.

Protesters claim that the Hulhumale` court is unlawful.