Doctors dispatched to prison after Gayoom's health worsens

Prison officials have brought in doctors from the capital Male after jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's health worsened, it has emerged.

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 in June.

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 Yameen 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.

Gayoom's family had repeatedly called on the authorities to transfer him to house arrest over concerns of his ill-health which had thus far been ignored by the authorities.

According to a source close to the former president, Gayoom was scheduled to meet his lawyers on Tuesday which was cancelled abruptly. Upon further inquiry, lawyers had found that prison doctors had advised to send Gayoom to the capital Male as his health had worsened late Monday.

However, prison officials had decided to bring in doctors from the capital Male to treat the former president.

The exact details of Gayoom's health could not be verified as Maldives Correctional Service has been unavailable for comment so far.

Gayoom's family had said he was suffering from a condition known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) which causes dizziness which has high risk of fall and injury while the attacks has made it difficult to even go to the bathroom unassisted.