Jailed opposition MP’s attorney suspended as second verdict looms

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’s lawyer has been suspended by the criminal court over comments made in the media.

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

Mahloof’s lawyer Nazim Abdul Sattar has been suspended from defending the MP in a case similar to the one his client was convicted.

Mahloof has been charged with breaking police barricades and entering a restricted area.

A verdict is expected later Monday.

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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