Court releases two Raajje TV journos

Criminal Court on Tuesday ordered the police to release the two opposition aligned Raajje TV journalists who had arrested over the two videos allegedly showing police officers wearing masks warning the government of a revolt.

Police had arrested reporters Mohamed Fazeen and Mohamed Wisam, who were arrested while covering the protests, and Amir Saleem, the station's head of programming.

Police had said three people were arrested over the videos shared on social networking sites in which a group of masked people dressed like police said they planned to join the anti-government rally.

Raajje TV said Wisam and Saleem had been arrested in connection to the videos while Fazeen had been detained accused of disobeying the police during the protest coverage.

The journalists were arrested shortly after the ruling party had accused the pro-opposition station of being involved in the making of the videos.

Police had asked the criminal court to remand the two journalists for five more days based on an intelligence report. The court however, had rejected the request saying that the police had been unable to present any new evidence and ordered their immediate release.

The 'officers' appearing in the video had also claimed that the government's failure to fulfill their demands would be met with a police mutiny on April 1.

The videos were released amid a series of arrests in the wake of increasing rumours of a revolt within the police and military ranks.

Opposition has also claimed that several soldiers have been detained inside the army barracks.

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 self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 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.

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.

The most high-profile figures remanded until the end of the trial included former president Maumoon Abdul 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.

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.