Maldives top court overturns Adhaalath Party leader's prison sentence

Maldives top court on Thursday overturned religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla's prison sentence.

Imran was sentenced to 12 years in prison for inciting violence during a major opposition protest held in May 2015. Prosecutors had blamed the violence and destruction of property on a speech delivered by Imran during the protest.

The Supreme Court had earlier rejected Imran's final appeal. However, Imran had filed a petition at the apex court seeking a review of its decision to reject his appeal.

The top court had suspended Imran's prison sentence and ordered the authorities to release him until a judgement on the review of his jailing.

Imran was the latest jailed opposition figure to be released in the wake of the opposition alliance's stunning victory in September's presidential elections.

The verdict came after new president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had appointed Sheikh Imran as the country's new home minister which had drawn intense public criticism.