Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was convicted Sunday by the Maldives Criminal Court on a terrorism charge for possession of firearms. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison during a session closed to the media.
Adeeb is the fourth high-profile politician sent to jail since President Yameen Abdul Gayoom came to power in 2013. Others include former President Mohamed Nasheed, former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and head of the leading Adhaalath Party (AP), Sheik Imran Abdulla.
Gayoom elevated his trusted protégé, Adeeb, to vice presidency in July 2015 after firing his running mate in the 2013 election, Mohamed Jameel Ahmed. In September, a blast on the president’s speedboat injured his wife, an aide and a bodyguard. A few days later, Adeeb was arrested and later charged with possession of firearms and corruption.
Adeeb is still facing charges of trying to assassinate Gayoom in spite of FBI investigators pointing out that they had found no evidence of a bomb explosion.
Gayoom has been criticized by human rights groups for jailing his opponents. The high-profile cases involving his four major challengers have also come under the scanner for failing to follow due process, according to reports.
The 57-year-old, who rose to power after the resignation of Nasheed, is the half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled Maldives from 1978 to 2008.
Nasheed, also charged with terrorism, had left for the U.K. in January on medical leave and was later granted asylum there.