Maldives court sentences former president Abdul Gayoom to 19-months in jail

A Maldives court on Wednesday sentenced former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, accused of plotting to overthrow the government, to 19 months in prison for failing to cooperate with the police investigation.

Gayoom, 80, who ruled the Indian Ocean archipelago state from 1978 to 2008, is the second former president to be jailed under President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's rule. He was arrested in February on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Yameen, his half-brother.

A court sentenced him to one year, seven months and six days in prison for failing to hand over his mobile phone to investigators. The country's chief justice, Abdulla Saeed, who was arrested with Gayoom, was also given the same sentence for the same offence on Wednesday.

Saeed was previously given a similar jail sentence for allegedly influencing lower court decisions.

Maldives became a multi-party democracy in 2008, ending Gayoom's 30-year strongman rule. However, Yameen, who was elected in 2013, has rolled back much of the democratic gains.

Mohamed Nasheed, who was the country's first freely elected president in 2008, was earlier given a 13-year sentence in a trial widely criticised for due process violations. However, he was granted asylum in Britain when he went there on leave from prison for medical treatment.

Yameen's former vice president, Ahmed Adeeb, another Supreme Court justice, two former d...

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