February 7 'coup' to be investigated with formulation of Interim Justice Act : Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the 'coup' that prompted his resignation on February 7, 2012 will be investigated when work on the Interim Justice bill is concluded.

Nasheed won the first democratic elections in the Maldives in 2008 after all political leaders in the archipelago backed him in the run-off against the then strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who had been in power for three decades.

However, Nasheed controversially stepped down in 2012 on the back of a police mutiny three years into his five year term after the coalition was dismantled soon after the election.

While Nasheed has always claimed he was ousted in a coup orchestrated by his then deputy and eventual successor Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, a Commonwealth led inquiry commission had quashed the claims ruling that Nasheed's resignation had not been forced to step down.

During the 'Ask Speaker' live tv program held Saturday night, Nasheed was asked if the 2012 'coup' will be investigated by the current government.

In his answer, Nasheed hinted that the Interim Justice bill being formulated at the parliament could possibly look into the events of February 7, 2012.

'The parliament is currently working on the Interim Justice Act. I believe such issues can be investigated under its framework,' Nasheed said.

The first reading and the preliminary debate on the Interim Justice bill proposed by government has already been concluded at the Parliament. The bill is currently at committee stage.

According to the proposed bill, a legal framework will be established under which events between January 2012 and November 17, 2018 that violated human rights and fundamental freedoms that were carried out by a government entity or an official can be investigated, and under which justice will be secured for those who suffered from the incidents.

The events of February 7, 2012 fall between the dates mentioned on the bill. It is believed that Nasheed is hinting that the 'coup' will be investigated once the bill is ratified.