Police unable to present Gayoom in court as health worsens

Criminal Court on Tuesday cancelled a double hearing of jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as police were unable to present him in court due to ill-health.

The 80 year old now charged with terrorism over the coup plot has warned authorities of health risk while his family had claimed that Gayoom's health continues to worsen.

Gayoom's repeated requests to be transferred to house arrest have been ignored.

His lawyer Maumoon Hameed on Twitter said the court has been forced to cancel the hearings as Gayoom remains ill.

"We have this afternoon been informed by the Criminal Court that police has notified the court that owing to Pres Gayoom's ill-health, they are unable to present him at court today, and therefore that the hearings scheduled for this afternoon have been cancelled," Hameed said.

Gayoom's spouse Nasreena Ibrahim meanwhile has urged police to let her share a cell with her ailing husband.

In a letter to the acting police chief Abdulla Nawaz, Nasreena had urged police to let her a share the cell with her husband so that she can aid him.

She claimed that her husband had lost consciousness even Saturday and cannot even go to the bathroom without help.

"If the authorities refuse to transfer my husband to house arrest, then a family member must be allowed to stay with him," Nasreena said in the letter.

Gayoom's daughter had claimed on Twitter that her was suffering from a condition known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) which causes dizziness which has high risk of fall and injury.

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 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.

Yameen's half-brother and former president Gayoom, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and four former government lawmakers which included Gayoom's son Faris Maumoon have been charged with terrorism for their involvement in the coup plot through the February 1 court order.

The pre-trial hearings of the six had been held separately, but the judge had said the six would stand trial together as the prosecution evidence and witnesses against them were the same.

In addition to the six, two former police commissioners and Gayoom's son in law have also been charged with terrorism. But their trials have been held separately.