Maldives court jails MP for a year

Male, Feb 21: A court in the Maldives Thursday sentenced a member of parliament (MP) to one year in prison for refusing to provide police with a urine sample after he was arrested for allegedly consuming alcohol.

The criminal court sentenced Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir to a year in prison for refusing to provide his urine sample required for probe.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MP was charged with refusing to submit the sample after being arrested from the uninhabited island of Haa Dhaal Atoll Hondaidhoo in 2012 for allegedly consuming alcohol, reported Haveeru.

Jabir is seeking re-election in the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held March 22.

However, Jabir will neither lose his parliament seat nor be barred from contesting the upcoming elections.

According to the Maldivian constitution, an individual convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced for more than a year in prison cannot contest to be a member of parliament.

Jabir has reportedly been taken to the Maafushi prison.

He is also facing two other charges, including possession of alcohol and use of cannabis. If convicted of the alcohol possession charges, Jabir will face an additional one to three years of imprisonment or banishment.

If convicted of the cannabis charges, the MP will face another 15 years in prison and a fine.

IANS