Maldives Ex-president Flees to Indian Embassy to Avoid Arrest
February 13, 2013 11:32 PM EST
Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed took refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male on Wednesday as police attempted to arrest him, risking fresh protests by his supporters who say he was overthrown in a coup last February.
Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader, was removed from office in contested circumstances and his supporters have frequently clashed with security forces in the Indian Ocean archipelago famous as a luxury tourist resort.
Riot police barricaded the street outside the high commission after Nasheed's arrival at noon, as his supporters began to gather in protest against his possible arrest.
"Mindful of my own security and stability in the Indian Ocean, I have taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Maldives," Nasheed wrote on his Twitter page.
A court ordered police to arrest Nasheed after he missed a February 10 court appearance in a case relating to accusations that he illegally detained a judge during the last days of his rule, a police spokesman said.
"We have received the order and we will be trying to carry it out in accordance with the Maldivian constitution and the order itself," spokesman Hassan Haneef added.
Police would wait outside the high commission, said Imad Masood, spokesman for the country's current president, Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik. "If he doesn't come, then police will begin to talk to high commission officials," he added.
If found guilty in the court case, Nasheed could be barred from standing in a September 7 presidential poll. His party says the trial is an attempt to prevent him from contesting and has challenged the court's legitimacy.
Nasheed says he was forced from power at gunpoint after opposition protests and a police mutiny. A national commission last August said the toppling of his government was not a coup, a ruling that triggered several days of large demonstrations.
The Maldives, a sultanate for almost nine centuries before it became a British protectorate, held its first free elections in 2008. Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was then Asia's longest-serving leader and accused of running the country as a dictator.
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Iran Leader Asks Muslims to Supply Arms to Palestine, Calls Israel ‘Rapacious Wolf’
- El Niño Update: 2014 Threat Easing, ‘Unlikely to be a Strong Event’ – Australia BoM
- “Women should not laugh in public” - Turkish Deputy PM says
- Australia Asked National Media to Suppress Multi-National Corruption Case: WikiLeaks
- Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date