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Ex-Maldives president exits embassy

Feb. 24, 2013 at 1:25 AM

MALE, Maldives, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed left the Indian Embassy in Male Saturday, ending a 10-day stay to evade an arrest warrant.

Nasheed had entered the Indian mission Feb. 13 to avoid being arrested for failing to appear in court on charges of detaining Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his presidency, the Press Trust of India reported. Nasheed's party claimed the case was politically motivated and meant to keep him from taking part in September presidential polls.

"We welcome this development," Masood Imad, press secretary for President Mohamed Waheed, said, adding there currently was no arrest warrant against Nasheed.

The BBC reported Nasheed said he hopes to continue his political activities and take part in the presidential election this fall.

Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2008. He says he was forced to quit in February 2012 under duress after soldiers and police mutinied and overran the party's headquarters in Male.

Waheed, who had been his vice president, insists Nasheed left of his own accord after opposition-led protests, the BBC said.

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