MALE: Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was today arrested by police after a warrant was issued by a court here in connection with his trial over the arrest and subsequent detention of a judge during his rule.
The arrest came less than a fortnight after Nasheed left the Indian High Commission where he was holed up for 11 days to escape two arrest warrants issued by the court earlier.
“Nasheed has been arrested. He will be in police custody and will be presented before the court at 4pm tomorrow,” Maldives President Mohamed Waheed’s press secretary Masood Imad said.
He added that Nasheed was taken into custody after the Hulhumale Magistrate Court ordered the police to produce him in court for a hearing tomorrow for his trial over the arrest and subsequent detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Media reports here said that the ex-president had been arrested from his residence and taken to Dhoonidhoo detention facility.
Clashes have been reported between opposition supporters and police deployed near the ex-president’s residence.
Nasheed, 45, sought refuge at the Indian High Commission for 11 days to evade arrest following his failure to attend court for what he called a “politically motivated” trial to bar him from contesting in the presidential election slated for September 7.
He left the diplomatic premises on February 23 after an Indian envoy dispatched by India to diffuse the political standoff won assurances from Maldivian authorities that Nasheed would be free to campaign for presidential elections.
The ex-president himself had said there was a “fragile” understanding between India and the Maldives government that prompted him to leave the Indian mission. However, the Maldivian government has repeatedly denied striking any deal with India for enabling Nasheed’s exit from the Indian mission.
Ministry of External Affairs had on February 23 issued a statement saying, “It is hoped that with this development the former president will again resume his social and political life”, and maintained that there was no deal between New Delhi and Male.