24 February 2015, Male' ; I am saddened by the statement issued by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Mr Kamalesh Sharma last night about the ongoing criminal case involving former president Mr Mohamed Nasheed. I am not aware that the Commonwealth is, or was, “closely monitoring” the situation in the Maldives. No one from the Commonwealth Secretariat has contacted the focal point at the Foreign Ministry over the last few days on the situation in the country. On the contrary, I initiated a phone call to the Secretary General last night in which we exchanged views about issues of mutual concern in the Commonwealth and in the Maldives. I therefore regret the strategic misrepresentation of basic facts in the Secretary General’s statement.
Former President Mr Mohamed Nasheed was taken into Police custody on 22 February under a Court warrant. As per the normal legal procedure, he was presented before a judge within 24 hours, and the judge gave Mr Nasheed the opportunity to appoint a legal counsel. Throughout the process, the Maldives Police followed the standard procedure and due process.
I wish to recall that the Commonwealth Secretariat had misread the situation in the Maldives once before, in 2012 and presented it to the CMAG, which took punitive measures against the country. The Maldives, however, emerged from the situation vindicated by the CoNI Report. The Government is hopeful that the Commonwealth will not repeat the same mistakes again.