Riyaz criticizes ‘unsatisfactory’ committee probe into Dr. Afrasheem murder report

Thimarafushi MP Abdulla Riyaz. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

Thimarafushi MP Abdulla Riyaz, on Wednesday, criticized the Parliament’s 241 Committee’s review into the Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom)’s investigative report on the 2012 murder of prominent politician and Islamic scholar Dr. Afrasheem Ali, which he said had been unsatisfactory.

Riyaz, who had been serving as the Commissioner of Police when Dr. Afrasheem had been found stabbed to death in the stairwell of his residence in the early hours of October 2, 2012, appeared on CNM’s Ithuru Kaafu show on Wednesday night.

He said that he had suggested that the 241 Committee summon DDCom officials for questioning to gain a deeper understanding into its report on Dr. Afrasheem’s murder for the purposes of the review, but that other members failed to heed the suggestion.

“When the report was presented to the Parliament, I said I wished to question DDCom members. But MDP has majority control of the committee. They didn’t want to open that opportunity,” said Riyaz.

He said that he had not been involved in the 241 Committee review due to conflict of interest.

“Since I had been questioned over the case. And since it wasn’t the most appropriate for me to sit in the committee and reinvestigate the case,” said Riyaz.

He said that he had pressed on the need for the 241 Committee review to answer the many questions and concerns raised by the people regarding DDCom’s report.

“The committee work wasn’t the most adequate. I find it hard to believe, because the report highlighted concerns by the people, and other chief factors. Those require more detailed explanations through questioning,” said Riyaz.

Riyaz, who previously told press he did not wish to publicly reveal the information he had on Dr. Afrasheem’s murder, but would wait until an appropriate platform presented itself, had spoken to DDCom in 2019, a couple of months after the commission was established.

Riyaz, on Wednesday, voiced concern over lack of adequate response to questions posed by opposition politicians regarding the authenticity of DDCom’s report, as well as the decision by 241 Committee not to follow up on DDCom’s report by questioning its officials.

“They weren’t questioned. Not even behind closed doors. This raises a question,” said Riyaz.

The Prosecutor General’s Office, when asked for charges against suspects in light of DDCom’s findings, announced that the findings weren’t adequate to secure successful prosecutions, and asked for a more thorough investigation.

“I have no detailed knowledge about everything. About the latest findings. I don’t want to make a direct comment on the report. Whether its valid or authentic,” said Riyaz.