MCS denies medical leave extension to JP leader

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim being taken to Velana International Airport (VIA) by Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) officers. He was given permission to depart to Singapore on Wednesday evening.

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim being taken to Velana International Airport (VIA) by Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) officers. He was given permission to depart to Singapore on Wednesday evening.

Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) on Monday stated that opposition Jumhoory Party (JP)’s leader Qasim Ibrahim’s 10-day medical leave cannot be extended.

Qasim’s family on Saturday appealed to the Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Shihan to extend his medical leave to three months, till December 2017.

Qasim is currently in Singapore, being treated at the country’s prestigious Paragon Medical. He was allowed to leave last Wednesday after weeks of hospitalisation, despite the Criminal Court’s verdict ordering authorities to make arrangements for him to go abroad for treatment immediately.

MCS’ spokesperson Ahmed Luqman confirmed that it had responded to Qasim’s family’s letter on Sunday.

The letter stated that no additional days can be given to the local business tycoon’s medical leave, and that his leave will expire next Saturday.

Neither Qasim’s family nor his lawyers have commented on MSC’s refusal to extend his medical leave.

Qasim’s son Yaqsan Qasim had written to the prisons’ commissioner on behalf of his family, detailing his father’s condition and appealing a leave extension, while his lawyers forwarded the official hospital documents specifying the tests and procedures Qasim require to MCS.

According to Qasim’s doctors at Paragon Medical, he has vessel coronary artery disease. This causes the main coronary arteries of the heart to narrow, and if the narrowing becomes critical, the patient can develop chest pains and shortness of breath among other symptoms.

His doctors, in writing, recommended to keep Qasim under observation before his angioplasty, and advised him not to fly out for another three months while he is recovering.

The former Maamigili MP was convicted of bribery in late August for comments he had made at an opposition rally held ahead of the opposition-lobbied censure motion against the parliament speaker in March. Qasim was slapped with a sentence of three years, two months and 12 days of imprisonment. He lost his parliament seat with the sentence.

The Criminal Court had, however, ordered authorities to make arrangements for Qasim to fly abroad for his treatment as soon as possible, after he fainted in court in his initial verdict hearing.

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