Nasheed contrived to make Gayoom a traitor, ruling party alleges

Self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed has extracted the ultimate revenge on his predecessor and arch nemesis Maumoon Abdul Gayoom by making him a traitor of the country, Maldives ruling party alleged Thursday.

During a ruling party press conference on Thursday, chief government lawmaker Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik said Gayoom had been caught in Nasheed's evil scheme which has made the 80 year old - one of the most respected men in the country a "traitor."

The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

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

As the 45 day state of emergency approached it final hours, prosecutors got the country's criminal court to remand the suspects until the end of their respective trials which otherwise would have forced authorities to release them after the emergency state ends.

The most high-profile figures remanded until the end of the trial included Gayoom, chief justice Abdulla Saeed and top court judge Ali Hameed - all now formally charged with terrorism over the alleged plot to overthrow the government.

In addition to Gayoom, his lawmaker son Faris Maumoon and son in law Mohamed Nadeem have also face the same charges.

The Villi-Maafannu lawmaker said Nasheed had used Gayoom, his friends and family to orchestrate the now failed coup.

"How many of Nasheed's supporters or members of his party have been implicated in the coup? None. But Gayoom and his friends and family have now been charged and are in jail. Nasheed has hatched wicked plan to extract revenge on his arch nemesis," the outspoken lawmaker alleged.

In a statement shortly after the announcing that the state of emergency had been lifted, the president's office said the emergency state was "precipitated by a constitutional crisis created by two Justices of the Supreme Court who conspired with political actors to violate both the constitution and standard legal norms and practices in order to illegally overthrow a lawful government, and whose actions constituted an imminent threat to national security."

The statement said the police along with the prosecutor general's (PG) office have been able to progress substantially into their investigation of corruption and other crimes relating to the crisis.

By Wednesday, prosecutors have got the country's criminal court to remand the suspects until the end of their respective trials which otherwise would have forced authorities to release them after the emergency state ended.

Prosecutors have also formally charged four opposition lawmakers over the alleged coup plot.

Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon, Jumhoory Party (JP) deputy leader Abdulla Riyaz, Dhangethi lawmaker Ilham Ahmed and South-Machchangoalhi lawmaker Abdulla Sinan have all been charged with terrorism for conspiring to overthrow the government. Three out of the four lawmakers have all been remanded until the trial ends thus far.

The President's Office in its statement assured that the constitutional rights and functioning of independent institutions have been restored.

"The three branches of the State remain independent and the checks and balances enshrined the Constitution are safeguarded. Though there still exists a diminished threat to national security, because the nation can now continue without further losses incurred, and upon the advice of the Security Services and in an effort to promote normalcy, the President has decided to lift the State of Emergency," the statement read.

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.

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.