Maldives police search Nasheed’s home, summons wife for questioning

Male (IANS) Days after former president Mohamed Nasheed was taken back to prison, Maldives police on Thursday summoned his wife Laila Ali for questioning.

According to the summons, the opposition leader’s wife is to come in for questioning over an ongoing investigation on Friday evening.

Nasheed, who leads the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), was on Sunday taken back to prison after spending two months under house arrest due to health reasons.

He is serving a 13-year prison sentence after being convicted of the arbitrary detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed while he was president.

The Maldivian Democratic Party in a statement “strongly condemned police’s blatant harassment of former president Nasheed’s family, following an intimidating night-long search of the family home that started on Wednesday evening”.

Commenting on the police intimidation tactics, MDP spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said: “The Maldives regime goes from bad to worse. Having illegally sent president Nasheed back to jail, they are now targeting his family in an ugly campaign of harassment and intimidation.

“President Yameen’s utter disdain for democracy and the rule of law is plain for all to see.”

According to haveeru news site, Laila was summoned after police entered the Nasheed residence on Wednesday late evening with a search warrant to collect evidence over an alleged document commuting Nasheed’s sentence.

Nasheed’s lawyers have maintained that a man claiming to be from the correctional service had hand delivered a document to Nasheed which stated that the government had decided to let Nasheed serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

The government has vehemently denied issuing the document and had asked police to investigate.

Police, earlier on Thursday had said the original document has been sent abroad by Nasheed’s family for forensic analysis.

Police have also accused Nasheed’s family of refusing to cooperate during the search, said haveeru.

The original search warrant had not permitted police to confiscate the CCTV equipment, and they had a fresh one issued early Thursday morning to do so. Police remained inside the Nasheed home until the fresh warrant was issued despite the first expiring at midnight.

Riot police had forcibly removed journalists after they were given consent to enter the premises by Nasheed’s wife, said the daily.

At the time, Laila was home with her two daughters. The Nasheed home is called Maafannu Yagoothuge.

Police were active in the area until 4.15 a.m. due to the new court order.

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