Gayoom's lawmaker son sentenced to prison

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon would join him in prison after he was found guilty of impersonation for using the ruling party logo and flag during a press conference last year after he was expelled from the party.

The Dhiggaru lawmaker was sentenced to four months and 24 days after the criminal court on Wednesday found him guilty of the charge.

Gayoom eldest son had been remanded after being arrested under the state of emergency accused of a plot to overthrow the government following the Supreme Court order on February 1.

The lawmaker is also on trial charged with bribing fellow lawmakers to back an opposition led no-confidence motion against parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

Faris has been at the forefront of the ongoing government crackdown on the opposition after he spearheaded a move to unseat the parliament speaker last year. Former president Gayoom's eldest son had spent six months in pre-trial detention after he was charged with bribing fellow lawmakers to back the opposition led censure motion against the speaker.

The MP however was released before the Supreme Court's order on February 1 to release nine political opponents that had included the lawmaker moments before his uncle declared a state of emergency.

Less than two days after he was released, police again took him into custody accusing him of plotting to overthrow the government.

Faris joins in father and former strongman Gayoom in prison who has also been charged with terrorism over the alleged coup plot but the trial is currently underway.

However, Gayoom along with two top court judges have been convicted of obstruction justice and sentenced to one year seven months and six days in prison.

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.

The 80 year old Gayoom, along with Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and top court judge Ali Hameed who had been arrested under the state of emergency have been charged with obstruction of justice over their refusal to handover their mobile phone to the police.