Maldives

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 30th October 2012.

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Photo of Karen Lumley Karen Lumley Conservative, Redditch 11:30 am, 30th October 2012

What assessment his Department has made of the fairness of the trial of the former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed; and what representations he has made to ensure that the trial is fair.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We have sought and received assurances from President Waheed of the Maldives that any trial of former President Nasheed will be fair and free from political influence. No trial date has been set. The next court hearing is on 4 November and we expect international observers to be present.

Photo of Karen Lumley Karen Lumley Conservative, Redditch

What effect does my hon. Friend think the trial of Mohamed Nasheed will have on a sustainable political outcome in the Maldives?

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The trial process is, of course, a matter for the Maldives, but there is international concern that if it results in the former President being prevented from leading his party into the elections next year, it will be seen as though the process was designed for exactly that object. We urge political stability under all circumstances in the Maldives, and that will no doubt be enhanced if the former President is allowed to lead his party and take part in those elections.