Jailed opposition lawmaker gets six more months in prison

MP Mahloof reacts as he is led away by police after the criminal court sentenced him to four months in jail on Monday. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

MP Mahloof reacts as he is led away by police after the criminal court sentenced him to four months in jail on Monday. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

Jailed opposition lawmaker Ahmed Mahloof was convicted and sentenced to six more months in prison after he was found guilty disobeying police orders.

The independent MP for South Galolhu who is also the spokesperson for the newly formed Maldives United Opposition (MOU) is already serving four months and 24 days in prison after the criminal court last week found him guilty of of obstructing police officers during an opposition protest in April.

In a similar case, Mahloof was charged with pushing police barricades and entering a restricted area during a protest in March last year.

Mahloof’s lawyer Nazim Abdul Sattar was suspended from defending his client in the case hours before the verdict.

Nazim is believed to have been suspended after he accused the court of denying Mahloof the right to defend himself.

Mahloof joins the ranks of high-profile politicians and state officials jailed since March last year, which now include a former president, two former defence ministers, a ruling party MP, an opposition party leader, a former vice president, a senior military officer, a former chief prosecutor, and a magistrate.

Mahloof would not however lose his parliamentary seat as a sitting MP would only be stripped of his seat if sentenced to more than one year in prison.

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