Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) late on Wednesday night allowed an additional 10-days of medical leave to opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim.
MCS’ decision came hours after Qasim’s lawyers officially requested the institution to revise its refusal to extend Qasim’s initial 10-day leave, which was appealed by his family last Saturday.
The former Maamigili MP, who was given three years, two months and 12 days of imprisonment for a bribery conviction, is currently in Singapore undergoing treatment for serious cardiac problems. His family had appealed to the Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Shihan to extend his medical leave for three months, till December 2017; however, the state had refused to comply then, and stated that his leave will expire on Saturday.
According to MCS, the local business magnate was given additional 10 days after reviewing the official documents forwarded by his lawyers.
Meanwhile, Qasim is faced with another dilemma as the doctors treating him at Singapore’s Paragon Medical had notified his family that he cannot be admitted at the hospital for treatment until his visa and immigration formalities have been arranged.
According to Qasim’s doctors, he is suffering from coronary artery disease, which causes the main arteries of the heart to narrow. The doctors have advised that his condition is critical, and that he is at the risk of having a sudden heart attack.
Therefore, his doctor,on Wednesday wrote another letter explaining how critical his condition is, explicitly stating that he is not fit for travelling yet. Qasim must reside in Singapore for at least two or three months, his doctors said.
The opposition leader has been advised to get an angioplasty and remain hospitalised until he recovers.
Despite the Criminal Court’s verdict ordering the authorities to make arrangements for Qasim to leave abroad for treatment as soon as possible, MCS only approved his leave on September 6, days after Qasim’s hospitalisation in capital Male.
The former lawmaker 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’s speaker last March. During his initial verdict hearing, Qasim had fainted at the court, and was sentenced at a later hearing in absentia.