Maldives Foreign Minister Dunya Mumoon is of the opinion that former President Muhammad Nasheed has all rights to appeal against the sentence of 13 years awarded to him by the judiciary in the country under charges of terrorism, but he should not expect to be pardoned.
The statement comes after a comment by a senior UN human rights official concerning the time period Nasheed had with him to file an appeal. As per the official, Nasheed was not in a position to appeal against his conviction as the time to file for an appeal had been slashed to just 10 days.
Maumoon said Nasheed could still file an appeal. The appeal is to fall under scrutiny by the international community. This way, all allegations of an impartial trial motivated by political concerns would be rejected.
Nasheed's appeal is supported by thousands of his supporters in the country. Maldives witnessed unrest when a mob comprising of about 10,000 people came out in the streets with slogans like "Free Nasheed". Officials arrested 193 people in this connection.
The ensuing protests might push Maldives President Abdulla Yameen to intervene in the matter. But Maumoon is of the opinion that presidential pardon is not admissible in cases of terrorism. Nasheed was convicted under charges of terrorism as illegal detention falls under the ambit of terrorism in Maldives legal dictionary.
The president is believed to be in a position to consider an appeal for clemency only after the expiry of a quarter of the sentence. This means Nasheed can appeal for clemency, but the president can consider his appeal only after three or four years.