Male – AP Police have dragged the Maldives’ former president into a court as he is tried over his decision to arrest a top judge three years ago.
Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on Sunday and charged under an anti-terrorism law.
He was brought to Criminal Court on Monday for the first hearing, and was dragged into the courtroom after he resisted police attempts to stop him from speaking to journalists gathered outside.
He entered court limping and complained to the judges that he had been man-handled by police. Police told the judges that the fracas occurred because Nasheed tried to stage a sit-in.
The three-judge panel gave Nasheed three days to name his lawyers and ordered him detained until the trial is over. They also asked authorities to give him medical attention.
The Maldives government says the anti-terrorism law covers not only violent terrorism, but a wide array of actions against the state.
The top US diplomat for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, voiced concern over the arrest to the Maldivian foreign minister.
‘She urged the government to take steps to restore confidence in their commitment to democracy, judicial independence and rule of law,’ State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.
Nasheed resigned as president in 2012 following weeks of public protests against his order to arrest top Criminal Court judge Abdulla Mohamed.
Mohamed was arrested after he released a detained opposition politician, and Nasheed’s administration accused him of political bias and corruption.