Gayoom's terrorism conviction trial cancels

The Monday scheduled trial of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's terrorism conviction has cancelled.

The Criminal Court had scheduled for default hearing on Monday prior to trial commencement, however it had not disclosed the reason for the cancellation.

Previously a default hearing was tabled for June 26, however the trial was cancelled in the last minute as well.

Gayoom is on trial for terrorism after being accused in the alleged plot to overthrow the government.

The 80 year old Gayoom along with two top court judges were convicted of obstruction of justice and sentenced to one year seven months and six days in prison last month.

Gayoom has filed the appeal at the first appellate court, his lawyer said. But it remains unclear whether the appeal has been accepted by the High Court.

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.

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

If convicted for terrorism, Gayoom stands to face a prison sentence between 17 to 20 years. He is already serving time in jail for one year and seven months for the conviction of obstruction of justice.