Maldives ex-president to stay in Indian Embassy, party says

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:31pm EST
 
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By J.J. Robinson

MALE (Reuters) - Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed will stay in the Indian Embassy in Male until a caretaker government is formed, his party said on Thursday, despite a government assurance he would not be arrested if left.

Nasheed, the Maldives' first democratically elected leader, who left office last year in contested circumstances, entered the Indian High Commission in the capital on Wednesday as police tried to arrest him in connection with a court case.

His supporters, who say Nasheed was ousted last February in a coup, clashed with police outside the mission, the latest such unrest in the Indian Ocean archipelago which is best known as a luxury holiday destination.

A court had ordered Nasheed's arrest 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.

But a government spokesman said on Thursday Nasheed no longer faced arrest.

"Nasheed's arrest warrant has ceased and he won't be arrested," Imad Masood, spokesman for President Mohamed Waheed Hussain Manik, told Reuters.

"The court will now announce a fresh date for the hearing and Nasheed can appear without being arrested," Masood said.

However, Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said he would remain in the embassy because of the danger he faced.   Continued...

 
Mohamed Nasheed speaks during a news conference in Male November 10, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer