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Maldives court suspends all trials over judge's arrest

April 02, 2013 17:12 IST

A day after the Maldivian high court said it will look into the legitimacy of lower court bench trying former President Mohamed Nasheed, Hulhumale Magistrate Court on Tuesday suspended all trials pertaining to the arrest and subsequent detention of chief criminal judge.

The high court on Monday stayed temporarily the trial against Nasheed at the Hulhumale Court until it can decide over the legitimacy of the lower court's bench.

The temporary injunction was granted after Nasheed asked the high court to declare the composition of the Hulhumale Court bench unlawful.

The court confirmed today that the trials of all five people, including Nasheed charged with Judge Abdulla Mohamed' arrest had been suspended, Haveeru daily reported.

In addition to the former President, former Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, former Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel, Brigadier General retired Ibrahim Mohamed Didi and Colonel Mohamed Ziyad have been charged with arresting Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

The Hulhumale Court was scheduled to hear the matter on Wednesday.

The arrest of the Judge Mohamed had let to protests from various sections in Maldives that eventually led to the ouster of Nasheed.

The composition of the three judge bench of the Hulhumale court by the Judicial Service Commission has been up for much debate recently and is also being probed by the Parliament's Independent Bodies Committee.

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has maintained that Nasheed's trial is a "politically motivated sham" designed to disqualify him from the upcoming presidential election slated for September 7.

If convicted and sentenced to more than one year in prison, Nasheed would be barred from leading MDP into the presidential polls.

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