Maldives pres dictated Nasheed’s sentence: Al Jazeera expose

Jailed former president Nasheed being escorted by correctional service officer. PHOTO/AHMED AZIM

Jailed former president Nasheed being escorted by correctional service officer. PHOTO/AHMED AZIM

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had personally dictated his rival and former president Mohamed Nasheed’s prison sentence, the new Al Jazeera documentary has revealed.

Created by the Emmy and BAFTA winning Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the documentary titled ‘Stealing Paradise’ contains leaked documents, text messages and recorded confessions that has blown the lid off mass corruption and abuse of power in the archipelago.

Mohamed ‘Oittey’ Hussain, the driver of the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor who is among the eight suspects wanted in connection to the blast aboard the presidential speedboat last year in a video recording says that he had collected a document on the orders of his boss the day Nasheed was sentenced.

Nasheed had been sentenced last March on a terrorism charge over the arrest and subsequent detention of a sitting Judge during his presidency, in a trial widely criticized for lack of due process.

“The day Nasheed was sentenced, Adeeb called me and he told me to pick up a letter. He gave me something written without an envelope,” Hussain who is now an international fugitive after local police sought interpol’s assistance.

“I just opened it. It was written Nasheed’s sentence.”

Hussain said he had taken the document straight to Adheeb who immediately called president Yameen.

“… and the president told Adeeb that there’s something that has to be changed,” Hussain who is believed to be in the UK added.

“That night they sentenced Nasheed.”

Hussain had not named the individual who had handed him the document allegedly related to Nasheed’s sentence.

Nasheed who has been granted asylum in the UK after he was allowed to leave for medical treatment in an internationally brokered deal in January has united the main opposition parties and stepped up efforts to remove Yameen from office.

In the Al Jazeera documentary, Nasheed is told about Hussain’s testimony during an interview with the climate change activist who was elected in 2008 before he prematurely ousted in what he describes in a coup in 2012.

“Its sad. Not only because I’ve been unlawfully and illegally held for so long and my family has been uprooted from our home and I have had to leave the Maldives,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed also alleged that all such politically motivated sentences are driven and directed by president Yameen.

“… these sentences are dished out by the president himself,” he added.

Government however, vehemently denied the allegations against the president with the international spokesperson for President’s Office Ibrahim Hussain Shihab insisting that Hussain’s claims were untrue.

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