The Straits Times
Published on Oct 07, 2012

Maldivian court orders arrest of ex-president


COLOMBO (AFP) - A court in the Maldives on Sunday ordered the arrest of the country's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed, who has challenged the legality of a criminal trial against him.

The Hulhumale magistrates court issued the arrest warrant after Nasheed failed for a second time to show up before a special three-judge bench set up to try him for abuse of power when he was in office. A court official said the warrant asked police to "keep Mr Nasheed in custody until he is produced before the court".

Nasheed, who won the Maldives' first democratic elections in 2008, resigned as president in February after what he described as a coup. The Indian Ocean archipelago has since been rocked by demonstrations and occasional violence.

The allegations centre on his decision to send the military to arrest a senior judge earlier this year. That fuelled simmering anti-government protests, culminating in a police mutiny and his downfall.