New Delhi, The Maldives government has said the sentencing of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed to long prison terms is "as per" national laws, regulations and procedures governing the criminal justice system in the country.
Hours after India expressed “deep dismay” over the development, the Maldivian foreign ministry in a statement on Thursday night said that all criminal proceedings were carried out in compliance with the relevant laws and the Constitution of the Maldives.
The foreign ministry in Male said the government has taken note of the "Press Release on the Political Situation in the Maldives, issued by the Government of India on 14 June 2018."
"The Government of Maldives wishes to highlight that on 13 June 2018, the Criminal Court sentenced former President Uz. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Chief Justice Uz. Abdulla Saeed as per national laws, regulations and procedures governing the criminal justice system in the Maldives," it said.
"The Government of Maldives reiterates its commitment to upholding the rule of law and reassures that all criminal proceedings are carried out in compliance with the relevant laws and the Constitution of the Maldives."
The Ministry of External Affairs had said the the court decision cast doubt on the commitment of the government of the Maldives to uphold the rule of law and will also call into question the credibility of the entire process of presidential elections in September this year.
Ties between India and Maldives hit an all time low after President Abdulla Yameen declared emergency in February this year after the Supreme Court ordered the release of opposition leaders convicted in trials that were criticised widely.
In March, a day before lifting the Emergency, the Yameen government had charged Gayoom with terrorism. Senior judges and police officials have also been charged for "attempting to orchestrate an act of terrorism".