Maldivian police arrest ex-president Nasheed: party

AFP , Monday 8 Oct 2012

Day after a court orders that Maldivian first democratically-elected president be arrested, police capture Mohamed Nasheed, his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesman said

Maldivian police on Monday arrested the country's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed, a week after he failed to turn up for the start of a trial for abuse of power, his party said.

"President Nasheed grabbed from protesting supporters, arrested and being taken away from Fares-Mathoda," his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor tweeted from a remote atoll in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The arrest came after a special court on Sunday ordered police to arrest Nasheed who had challenged the legality of a criminal trial against him.

The magistrates court on the island of Hulhumale issued the arrest warrant after Nasheed failed for a second time to show up before a special three-judge bench set up to try him.

A court official said the warrant asked police to "keep Mr Nasheed in custody until he is produced before the court".

Nasheed resigned as president in February after what he described as a coup. The Maldives -- better known as a luxury tourism destination -- has since been rocked by demonstrations and occasional violence.

The court case centres on Nasheed's decision to send the military to arrest a senior judge earlier this year. That fuelled simmering anti-government protests, culminating in a police mutiny and Nasheed's downfall.

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