Maldives denies India’s claim of discussions on Nasheed

Maldives today denied India’s claim that it held discussions with Indian officials regarding former President Mohamed Nasheed, who sought “refuge” at the Indian High Commission here to evade arrest, saying it cannot interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

“Maldives wishes to confirm that neither the High Commission of India in Male, nor any other authority of the government of India has had discussion with the government of Maldives concerning former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed’s reported request for refuge,” Maldives’ foreign ministry said in a statement here.

It said that after several inquiries by the ministry, the Indian High Commission confirmed Nasheed’s presence there.

45-year-old Nasheed yesterday took refuge in the Indian High Commission to evade arrest warrant issued by a local court in a case concerning the detention of chief judge of the criminal court during his presidency in January last year.

“Nasheed’s on-going trial is a matter handled by two independent state institutions, namely the Prosecutor General and the judiciary,” the statement said.

It said “the executive branch of the Maldives cannot, under the Constitution, interfere with the independence of the judiciary, and will indeed ensure that the independence of the judiciary is always upheld.”

The statement termed as “unfortunate” what it called the “public comment” by India on events instead of opting for bilateral discussions between the two governments.

“It is further unfortunate that the government of India has decided to comment on the types of candidates that could contest the upcoming Presidential Elections in the Maldives scheduled for September 2013,” it said.

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