Maldives: Maumoon Gayoom, Chief Justice among nine charged with terrorism

Authorities charged the Maldives’ former dictator, top judges and police officials with terrorism on Tuesday as the government deals with political turmoil that prompted a weeks-long state of emergency.

The nine people charged at the criminal court included Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the 30-year ruler of the Indian Ocean archipelago state; Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed; four lawmakers including Mr. Gayoom’s son; and a former police commissioner.

Prosecutors did not specify the grounds on which they are charged with terrorism. If convicted, they could be jailed for 10 to 15 years. They were also charged with obstruction of justice on suspicion of refusing to hand over their phones to investigators.

Justices Saeed, Hameed and another judicial officer were charged with receiving bribes to help overthrow the government.

Mr. Gayoom and the judges were arrested last month following a Supreme Court order to release several of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s political opponents who were jailed after trials that involved alleged due-process violations. After the government arrested the two judges, the three remaining judges annulled the order to release the opponents.

The president is a half-brother of the former dictator, who are now political enemies.