Male: The Maldives government said on Thursday that former president Mohamed Nasheed, who has taken refuge at the Indian embassy in Male, will not be arrested for the time-being, NDTV reported.
Nasheed sought refuge at the Indian High Commission as police tried to execute a court order seeking his arrest for failing to turn up at his trial on Sunday. Nasheed had been visiting India at the time.
A presidential spokesperson said that the arrest warrant against Nasheed had expired on Wednesday after he took refuge at the India High Commission and could not be produced in court, the news channel reported.
Nasheed is a free man until the court decides the next date of hearing in the case against him, the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Nasheed's spokesperson said that the former president has demanded the dropping of charges against 800 party workers. The spokesperson also said he wanted India to take a lead in securing an end to the political crisis in the Indian Ocean atoll nation of of 330,000 Sunni Muslims.
Khurshid to speak to Maldivian counterpart
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be speaking to his counterpart in Maldives which has raised strong objections to India's views regarding former President Mohamed Nasheed.
"I will be talking to the Foreign Minister of Maldives (Abdul Samad Abdullah) regarding the issue," Khurshid told PTI.
Sources here said that senior Indian officials are going to understand from Nasheed his future plans.
Maldives denies discussions with India
Earlier in the day, Maldives had denied India's claim that it held discussions with Indian officials regarding Nasheed, saying it cannot interfere with the independence of the judiciary.
"Maldives wishes to confirm that neither the High Commission of India in Male, nor any other authority of the Government of India has had had discussion with the Government of Maldives concerning former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed's reported request for 'refuge'," Maldives' Foreign Ministry said.
It said that after several inquiries by the ministry, the Indian High Commission had confirmed Nasheed's presence there.
"Nasheed's on-going trial is a matter handled by two independent State institutions, namely the Prosecutor General and the judiciary," the statement said.
The statement termed as "unfortunate" what it called the "public comment" by India on events instead of opting for bilateral discussions between the two Governments.
"It is further unfortunate that the Government of India has decided to comment on the types of candidates that could contest the upcoming Presidential Elections in the Maldives scheduled for September 2013," it said.