Male ,January 27 (Maldivian Independent): Maldivian Member of Parliament, Faris Maumoon, has been arrested for trying to overthrow the government of President Abdulla Yameen, police confirmed Saturday, days after he was released from custody. Faris Maumoon is a cousin of President Abdulla Yameen
Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan said the politician was arrested in relation to an ongoing investigation. He did not give further details.
Faris’ lawyers told RaajjeTV the charges were attempting to overthrow the government. The arrest warrant, a copy of which has been seen by the Maldives Independent, says the charges are bribing lawmakers and attempting to overthrow the government with the help of some politicians.
There are also suspicions that if Faris remains free he will obstruct the investigation, hide evidence, tamper with evidence, destroy evidence and influence eyewitnesses. An anonymous witness gave the evidence upon which the warrant is based, the warrant also said.
He was transferred to a police detention facility on Dhoonidhooi island.
Gayoom Calls for Change of Government Before Elections
Faris’ father and former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom tweeted earlier: “Police have forced their way into Endherimaage (Gayoom’s home in Malé) against the instructions on the court order.
“The court warrant ordered the search of places related to Faris Maumoon. There is no room or office belonging to Faris Maumoon in Endhirimaage. Even after they were told this, they forced their way in and are searching the house.”
he government and ruling party has hit back at former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom after he suggested a change of power was needed before this year’s election.
Gayoom made the remarks at an opposition gathering and called for immediate reforms, saying “there is no need to wait for a particular time”.
“Why should we wait? We are not sure the election will be held. We are not sure how the results are going to turn out. We do not know the things that will be involved in it [election]. So there is no need to talk about an election,” he was quoted as saying by local media.
The comments provoked government ministers and figures from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to criticise the ex-leader, who was in power for three decades.
Abdul Raheem Abdulla, the PPM’s deputy leader, said there were questions about the legality of calling to overthrow a government before an election.
“A public call to overthrow an elected government must be investigated. This is not a joke,” he tweeted. “The hidden agenda of leaders who claim to work in the interest of the country and the people is being revealed,” he added.
Ahmed Nihan, the PPM’s parliamentary group leader said, the “opposition cocktail coalition” lacked anyone with the qualification and experience to overthrow a government.
Defence Minister Adam Shareef warned that legal measures would be taken against those who attempt to overthrow the government.
“We will not give the opportunity to disturb the peace in the country,” he told state broadcaster PSM.
(Th image at the top shows MP Faris Maumoon being taken into custody again)