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Maldives police charge former president over arrest of chief criminal judge

The Maldives Police Service [official website] on Sunday sent to the Prosecutor General's Office [Minivan News report] the case of the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, in which the police filed charges against former president Mohamed Nasheed. Although details of the charges have not been confirmed, it is possible they involve a violation of constitutional arresting procedure. The Maldives Constitution [text, PDF] provides that judges can be arrested without a warrant, but only after he has been found committing a criminal activity. If he is only suspected of committing or planning to commit a criminal act, a warrant must be obtained from a higher court and approved by the prosecutor general. It is now in the hands of the prosecutor general to decide whether to go forward with the charges.

An arrest warrant was issued [JURIST report] for Nasheed in February for charges that were not specified, but Nasheed contended that the charges were politically motivated. The warrant was issued days after he resigned [JURIST report] due to protests of the chief judge's detainment. The judge was arrested and detained [JURIST report] by the military in January for corruption, but opposition activists claimed it was in retaliation to a decision made earlier that day that an opposition leader was being held illegally

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