Government on Sunday aimed a fresh dig at former president Mohamed Nasheed and Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, with home minister Azleen Ahmed saying that the authorities would no longer allow anyone to "lie their way out of serving a prison sentence.
Nasheed now lives in exile in the UK after travelling there for medical treatment last year while Gasim initially left to Singapore for treatment before leaving for Germany.
The business tycoon convicted of bribery in late August was granted medical leave to travel to Singapore where he had undergone a minor heart surgery in September. Despite his leave expiring in late September, the former lawmaker had not returned claiming that no airline would allow him on board an air craft due to his ailing condition.
Nasheed was jailed on terror charges after he was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison over the arbitrary detention of a sitting judge while he was president.
Speaking during a ruling party rally on Sunday evening, the home minister said the government had allowed the duo to leave because they "appeared to be in their final moments."
But they always intended to lie and cheat their way out of serving their sentences," Azleen alleged.
The minister insisted that the government would now think twice before granting permission for any inmate to leave for medical treatment.
Azleen's comments comes in the wake of intense criticism over the government's refusal to grant jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.