Maldives Military Arrests Senior Judge

Published January 17, 2012 7:36AM (EST)

MALE, Maldives (AP) — The Maldives' military has arrested the chief judge of the country's criminal court after he released an opposition leader who had been detained without a warrant for allegedly defaming the government.

The unprecedented arrest Monday of Judge Abdulla Mohamed sparked a brief street protest in the capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The spokesman of the Maldives National Defense Force, Col. Abdul Raheem, refused to comment Tuesday on the arrest. Opposition activists said it was in retaliation for the judge's ruling that the opposition leader's detention a day earlier was illegal.

The arrest of a judge by the military is unprecedented in Maldives, which recently became a multiparty democracy after 30 years of autocratic rule.

By Salon Staff

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