Lawyers barred from visiting Gayoom's MP son

Police have barred jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon from meeting his lawyers.

The Dhiggaru lawmaker remains in custody in the custodial jail in Dhoonidhoo island under the state of emergency accused of a plot to overthrow the government following the Supreme Court order on February 1.

A member of Faris' legal team claimed on Monday that the police investigative officers have barred any lawyer visits to meet the jailed lawmaker.

"Lawyer visit form of Faris rejected by police saying that they have been instructed by Investigation officers NOT to accept any lawyer visits for Faris," one of his lawyers Mohamed Faisal claimed on Twitter.

"This is unacceptable. Right to a lawyer cannot be suspended."

Faris' right to a lawyer has been suspended days after the lawmaker had accused the police of torturing him in jail.

Faris' lawyers alleged that police had tried to question their client without legal representation. When Faris refused, the police had dragged him to an old cell without any light or a fan.

The lawyers alleged that Faris' shoulder had been injured when the police dragged him to the old cell as punishment for refusing to cooperate with police questioning without a lawyer present.

Hours after the alleged incident, Faris had been brought to the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the capital Male.

His lawyers on Saturday said the rights watchdog has now launched a probe into the claims.

The lawmaker is also on trial charged with bribing fellow lawmakers to back an opposition led no-confidence motion against parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

Faris has been at the forefront of the ongoing government crackdown on the opposition after he spearheaded a move to unseat the parliament speaker last year. Former president Gayoom's eldest son had spent six months in pre-trial detention after he was charged with bribing fellow lawmakers to back the opposition led censure motion against the speaker.

The MP however was released before the Supreme Court's order on February 1 to release nine political opponents that had included the lawmaker moments before his uncle declared a state of emergency.

Less than two days after he was released, police again took him into custody accusing him of plotting to overthrow the government.

Faris' latest arrest came after police had accused and arrested his father of bribing the now jailed top court judges to issue the order to release jailed political leaders in a bid to overthrow the government.

As the state of emergency expired, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before state of emergency was declared.

The accusations against Gayoom included bribing lawmakers and judges to influence their authority while the deposed ruling party leader has also been accused of creating discord within the security forces to back the overthrow of his half-brother's government.

The two top court judges are accused of accepting bribes to influence Supreme Court rulings, abuse of power and blocking the functioning of the entire justice system.

In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the now rescinded order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.

Former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb's uncle Hamid Ismail make up the rest of the list.