The Government of Maldives welcomes the decision of former President Mohamed Nasheed to seek to appeal his 13-year jail sentence at the Supreme Court.
The Government of Maldives has consistently maintained the position that the former President should seek to argue his complaints before the appropriate judicial body.
Further, the Government has maintained the position that the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is one that should be considered by the Supreme Court. This will now be done given that the Court has accepted the appeal already filed by the Prosecutor General, with substantive arguments to be heard at a later date.
Contrary to the position espoused by some, the former President has not at any time been precluded from filing an appeal, and has consistently been reminded of his right to do so, and further, encouraged to embark upon this course of action.
The appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, are the appropriate forum for the former President’s legal arguments concerning his trial and sentence to be made.
The Government of Maldives respects the rule of law, and reaffirms the position that its judiciary is fully independent and impartial.
The fact that the former President is now seeking to file an appeal reaffirms this position.
It is anticipated that those calling for sanctions and other such extreme measures will now allow the judicial process to take its natural course, and refrain from seeking to criticise and undermine the process further.