Maldives revokes medical leave for former president

AP News
Posted: Apr 18, 2016 9:17 AM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Maldives government has revoked an extension of the medical leave given to the country's jailed former president and he is expected to return to prison soon, an official said Monday.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is serving a 13-year jail term for ordering the arrest of a top judge, left for Britain in January on medical leave to undergo spinal surgery.

Government spokesman Ibrahim Hussain Shihab said Nasheed had sought an extension of the medical leave and the government had initially agreed to extend it until May 19, but withdrew the approval because Nasheed's lawyers confirmed that no surgery is scheduled.

"The extension has been canceled. That means he has to get back because his leave has expired," Shihab said.

Nasheed lawyer Hassan Latheef said he was unable to comment because he has not received any official communication from the government.

The government has criticized Nasheed for meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron and appearing in a series of media interviews while in London.

Nasheed was jailed last year for ordering the senior judge's arrest. His trial drew sharp local and international criticism for an alleged lack of due process.

Nasheed became the country's first democratically elected president in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule. He resigned as public opposition grew over his ordering of the arrest of the judge, and he lost a second bid at the presidency in 2013.

Maldives, an Indian ocean archipelago state, is known for its luxurious tourist resorts.