'Ex-pres can be transferred to home arrest'

The opposition has responded to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s comments regarding the requested release of jailed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

Speaking on a program aired on local channel ‘RaajjeTV’, President Solih was asked if he would come to an agreement with the opposition regarding the release of President Yameen, who is currently serving a five year sentence in prison on a corruption conviction. The opposition has been calling on the government to release the former president to home arrest due to his current health condition. They also continue to insist that the president is innocent.

In his response, the president said he does not have the authority to pardon all crimes committed by a person. A judgement regarding the release of President Yameen will be made by the Supreme Court, said the president. He further pointed out that the laws clearly state all procedures regarding a person serving a sentence, and that a Supreme Court verdict is necessary before considering any action.

Responsing to the president’s comments, Maduvvary MP and Vice President of opposing Peoples’ National Congress (PNC), Adam Shareef Umar said it is common practice in the past and present to transfer political figures serving jail sentences to house arrest. The president has not acted in such a manner towards president Yameen because he lacks sincerity, compassion and mercy, said Adam Shareef.