Criminal Court on Thursday again cancelled South-Machchangoalhi lawmaker Abdulla Sinan's remand extension hearing.
The court had scheduled the hearing at 11am on Thursday before suddenly informing lawyers of its cancellation. The reason behind the decision however, remains unclear.
Sinan is one of the four lawmakers including Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon, Jumhoory Party (JP) deputy leader Abdulla Riyaz and Dhangethi lawmaker Ilham Ahmed to be charged with terrorism for conspiring to overthrow the government. The other three lawmakers have all been remanded until the trial ends. Sinan however, had been remanded for 15 days shortly before the state of emergency was lifted. His remand would expire on Sunday.
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 had declared 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 approached its final hours, 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 ends.
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.
In addition to the terrorism charge, according to a statement released by the Prosecutor General's (PG) office, the trio who remain in custody under the state of emergency have also been charged with obstruction of justice over their refusal to handover their mobile phones to the police.
The two top court judges along with now jailed chief judicial administrator Hassan Saeed are also facing bribery charges. Chief justice Saeed is facing a fourth charge of impeding the functioning of the state for allegedly blocking the receipt of three letters sent by president Yameen shortly after the top court ruling on February 1.
The chief judicial administrator is facing the same charge for refusing to come in for police questioning.
PG office further said police had discovered MVR 350,000 (Maldivian Rufiyaa Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand) and USD 3,300 (United States Dollars Three Thousand and Three Hundred) hidden underneath the mattress of the chief judicial administrator.
"The statement said the police uncovered inside bag found in his room among other documents a letter on Villa Shipping & Trading Company Pvt Ltds letterhead signed by the said Company's Managing Director, Ibrahim Siyad Gasim.
"The letter shows that funds amounting to USD2.4 million given by Villa Shipping & Trading Company Pvt Ltd to the main suspects of this case and relatives of those suspect towards purchasing properties from a foreign country."
The document proves that the beneficiaries of the payment were judge Hameed's son, Chief justice Saeed and the ex-wife of the chief judicial administrator, the statement said.
The statement also said the police had verified the signatory of the document to be Siyad Gasim - son of Jumhoory Party (JP) leader and Villa Group owner Gasim Ibrahim while his fingerprints were also found on the document.
Siyad Gasim has been remanded until the end of the trial charged with offering a bribe.
In addition, former police chief Ahmed Areef has also been charged and remanded until sentencing.
PG office said Areef had handpicked certain police officers in violation of normal procedure to enforce the Supreme Court order and also attempted to disrupt the peace of the country.
The PG office further said the Supreme Court order on February 1 was a premeditated plot to overthrow the government.
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.