Police in the Maldives arrested former president Mohamed Nasheed on Monday after he twice failed to appear before a court to face charges that he illegally ordered the arrest of a judge while in office.
Nasheed, who has said the military ousted him from office in a coup earlier this year, was arrested while campaigning for next year's elections. His arrest could trigger protests by his supporters who have previously clashed with police and who say the charges against him are politically motivated.
Police spokesman Hasan Haneef said Nasheed was arrested on Fares-Mathoda island, in the Gaaf Dhaal atoll, around 440 km away from the capital Male on Monday.
"He is in police custody in order to be produced before courts on Tuesday," Haneef added.
On Sunday, Hulhumale magistrate court issued an arrest warrant on Nasheed after he twice defied summons to appear before courts.
The same courts, two weeks ago, ordered him not to leave the capital, Male, without the court''s permission. Nasheed defied that order too.