Police suspend Gayoom's family visitation rights, lawyer says

Police have suspended jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's family visits and contact claiming "non-cooperation" by being too ill to attend court, his lawyer claimed Monday.

The former president who had ruled the country for three decades until 2008 now charged with terrorism over the alleged 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.

Last few pre-trial hearings of the 80 year old have been cancelled over his worsening health.

His lawyer Maumoon Hameed said on Twitter that police have suspended Gayoom's family visits until May 28, "even though continuous care from family is critically imperative in his current condition."

"Evidently it is now a punishable offence to fall ill."

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.