Legal Politics

Lawyers slam ‘shameful’ treatment of Gasim

Lawyers representing Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim have slammed the failure of the authorities to allow the convicted opposition lawmaker to seek medical treatment overseas as ordered by the criminal court.

Despite assurances from Home Minister Azleen Ahmed last week that medical leave will be authorised within days, the Attorney General’s office appealed the part of Gasim’s verdict that ordered the authorities to arrange testing and treatment abroad.

The Maldives Correctional Service has since decided to transfer Gasim to house arrest but he remains hospitalised as doctors say his heart condition is too serious.

In a statement issued Friday, Gasim’s lawyers called the failure of the prisons authority to make arrangements “shameful” as a week has passed since he was sentenced in absentia to more than three years in prison.

The statement also reiterated doctor’s advice for Gasim to urgently undergo tests unavailable in the Maldives as further delays “may result in life-threatening arrhythmia.”

JP spokesman Ahmed Sameer previously told the Maldives Independent that the delay in allowing Gasim to travel was “politically motivated”.

The 67-year-old business tycoon was found guilty of attempted bribery in late August and sentenced to jail while he remained hospitalised after collapsing inside the courthouse.

Citing doctor’s advice for Gasim to be urgently flown overseas for tests unavailable in the Maldives, Judge Adam Arif also ordered the authorities in the midnight verdict to make arrangements for him to seek treatment overseas.

The two-time presidential candidate was prosecuted for offering to grant tickets from the allied opposition parties and help with the re-election campaigns of MPs who vote to impeach the speaker of parliament. The purported bribery offer was made in a speech ahead of the opposition’s failed bid to remove the speaker on March 27.

The MP for Maamigili will also lose his seat unless the conviction is overturned on appeal.

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