A court in the Maldives has issued an arrest warrant for former president, Mohammad Nasheed, as officials seek to bring him back to the country where he is supposed to complete a prison sentence over terror-related charges.
"A court order (has been) issued for arrest of former president, Mohamed Nasheed," a government statement said Wednesday, adding, "The Maldives correctional service is seeking to have him brought back to serve the remainder of his 13-year sentence."
The arrest warrant was reportedly issued after Nasheed flew to Sri Lanka, where, according to opposition sources, he has been meeting with opposition groups over a plan to topple President Abdulla Yameen.
Nasheed, who became the Maldives’ first democratically-elected president in 2008, was forced to resign four years later and then imprisoned last year for having a judge arrested. His conviction on terrorism charges has sparked massive international criticism with many branding the move as unlawful and lacking due judicial process.
The climate change activist also has a record of serving prison terms under Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the strongman who ruled the Maldives for three decades. Yameen is a half-brother of Gayoom and became president after winning a run-off against Nasheed in late 2013.
Nasheed recently won political asylum in Britain after being granted permission to travel there for treatment while serving his sentence. However, the government says he is avoiding a return.
Opposition sources said Nasheed was waiting for a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka on Wednesday, when he could discuss the political turmoil in the Maldives.
"He would be keen to meet with Ban Ki-moon," said a source, adding that he has yet to formally submit a request to Colombo for the meeting with Ban.