Tamil Diplomat

Maldives former president arrested ahead of hearing; clashes erupt

Police in Maldives arrested former president Mohamed Nasheed on Sunday after a court said he might flee the country to avoid hearings on terrorism charges, leading to clashes between his supporters and authorities.

Nasheed, Maldives’ first democratically elected president, had been facing criminal charges over his order to arrest a top judge in January 2011. Nasheed stepped down in early 2012, saying he had been overthrown in a coup.Last week the prosecutor-general withdrew the original charges against Nasheed, but issued an arrest warrant on Sunday under new charges of terrorism relating to the same incident of the arrest of the judge four years ago. The first hearing will be on Monday.

Police used teargas to disperse protesters from Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as he was taken from his home.”I call on the public to do all that is necessary to stop the harassment meted out to me and other politicians to save Maldives,” Nasheed told reporters in Male while being taken to a detention center on a separate island.