Satto’s name included in 241 Committee report

Ali Shan (Satto). (File Photo/Sun)

H. Hicoast, Ali Shaan (Satto) has been finally included in the analysis of the investigative report compiled by the Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCOM) on the murder of a prominent politician and Islamic scholar Dr. Afrasheem Adam. passed by the Security Services Committee of the Parliament (241 Committee).

The 241 Committee decided to analyze the report by the DDCOM on seven instances and formed a sub-committee consisting of West Hulhangu MP Hassan Latheef, Madduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar and Faresmaathodaa MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef.

The sub-commi9ttee was charged with:

  • Identifying the number of local jihadist groups, their cells, and members.
  • Identifying the exact value of the contract issued for Dr. Afrasheem’s murder, the money trail.
  • Identifying the local jihadist groups mentioned in the report.
  • Identifying those involved in the cover-up of the murder.
  • Investigating possible involvement of police or Immigration
  • Establishing the current whereabouts of the people named in the report.
  • Instructing relevant State authorities on the immediate measures which need to be put in place in response to the report.
  • The sub-committee decided not to include the name of Satto in the submission of its analysis to the main Committee.

While Satto’s name was not mentioned in the report, Ali Hashim (Smith), an activist of the governing MDP, who currently holds a political post at the Tourism Ministry, was listed as one of the people possibly involved in financial transactions in connection to Dr. Afrasheem’s murder. Satto, who is also an MDP activist served as a supervisor at the Greater Male’ Industrial Zone Limited (GMIZ)’s Thilafushi site, was placed under suspension pending a full investigation into the case the same day that the DDCOM’s report was published.

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Ali Hashim (Smith) and Ali Shan (Satto).

The decision to leave out the name of one of the suspects who originally stood trial for the murder faced heavy criticism from the public directed towards the sub-committee.

This has now been rectified by the main 241 Committee which took into account the recommendations of the sub-committee and also included its recommendations after analysis when it passed the report. The name of Satto was included back in the report when the 241 Committee passed the report.

At a meeting of the Committee held last night, the chair of the sub-committee Hassan Latheef deflected the criticism received by stating out that the sub-committee was not charged with naming the suspects that actively participated in the murder. He defended the analysis report by stating that the report recommended lawful action against everyone accused of criminal acts named in the report, including Satto.

The DDCOM’s report concluded that Azlif Rauf (H. Hilton), Hussain Human Ahmed (H. Lobby), Satto, and an unnamed minor actively participated in the murder, while several others had served as lookouts.

The sub-committee also recommended locating the people named as involved in the murder and their place of employment, in addition to recommending lawful action.

The police, which conducted the original investigation into the murder seven years ago, had arrested three suspects; Satto, Humam and a minor.

The State did not pursue charges against the minor, while Satto and Humam were charged with premeditated murder. The court acquitted Satto due to lack of sufficient evidence, while Humam – who confessed his guilt but later retracted it claiming duress – was found guilty and sentenced to death in 2014.

The State did not appeal Satto’s acquittal, while Human lost his last bid to contest the death penalty after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the penalty in 2016.

The people named in DDCOM’s report were categorized based on the specifics of the suspicions against them; those involved in financial transactions in connection to Dr. Afrasheem’s murder, those who sought to conceal the murder, local jihadist groups, and former police officers who likely know the truth behind the murder. 36 such people were named in the report including former Islamic Minister Dr. Shaheem Ali Saeed, Ali Hashim (Smith), former Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz and his deputy Hussain Waheed.

Ex Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz: The Commission on Deaths and Disappearances concluded that the ex CP and now MP for Thimarafushi made the statements in Afrasheem's case without evidence on November 18, 2019. (Sun File Photo)

The report also called for actions against organizations alleged to being involved in the murder.

The groups are:

  • Jamiyyath Salaf
  • Local Al-Qaeda branch
  • The local group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS)
  • Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant)
  • Extremist groups which operate near Masjid al-Furqan

It also recommended a review of the work jihadist or terrorist groups in order to ensure such acts aren’t repeated, action against police officers found negligent, a review of the original police investigation, and seeking travel details of the suspects who fled the Maldives following the murder from the Immigration.