Male: The Maldives Supreme Court on Monday quashed former President Mohamed Nasheed’s 13-year jail term, granted by a lower court in 2015 on charges of terrorism. The country’s top court said Nasheed was wrongfully charged, and the criminal court should not have proceeded to trial, Maldives Independent reported.
Emerging from the Supreme Court premises in Male, Nasheed told reporters that his political career was not over. Nasheed claimed that the verdict has also “made it clear” that he was put on trial by the influence of former President Abdulla Yameen.
In a tweet, Nasheed expressed his “deepest gratitude to the people of Maldives”.
The Supreme Court had on October 30 suspended Nasheed’s sentence. The top court ordered the government and law enforcement agencies to comply with its decision until it review of the charges of terrorism against Nasheed is complete. The announcement followed the election of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party as president.
The island nation has been caught in political unrest since Nasheed, who became its first democratically elected leader in 2008, was forced to quit amid a police rebellion in 2012.
Nasheed was booked under anti-terrorism laws in 2015 and sent to prison for 13 years after Yameen came to power. Several countries had seen these as politically motivated charges. A year later, the United Kingdom granted Nasheed asylum when he was allowed to travel there for medical treatment. Since then, he has lived in the UK and Sri Lanka.
Nasheed was among the political prisoners whom the Supreme Court ordered to be released in February. But Yameen’s government defied the order and declared an emergency that continued for 45 days. Soon after the emergency declaration, security forces stormed the Supreme Court in a midnight crackdown and arrested two judges, including the chief justice.