The suspect who detonated the IED in the attempt to assassinate Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6 has signed a plea deal with the State which will see his sentence cut down by nearly half.
A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence, and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, just as Nasheed, 54, exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds.
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said that Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, 26, Hiyaa, V. Thinadhoo – the man accused of detonating the IED – signed a plea deal with the State last Monday.
The Prosecutor General’s Office filed charges against four suspects, including Adhuham, with the Criminal Court earlier this Tuesday.
Adhuham was pressed with four charges; carrying out an act of terrorism, conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism act, attempted murder using a sharp-edged instrument or dangerous weapon, and supporting a terrorist organization.
He was pressed with the charges based on evidence he strapped the IED on the motorcycle, detonated the IED using a remote, caused critical injuries to Nasheed and endangered the lives of other in the area at the time, and based on his confession to investigators that he supports ISIS.
Adhuham faces at least 37 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Shameem said Adhuham signed a plea deal with the State under the Criminal Procedure Code on Monday, which will see his sentence reduced to 23 years in prison if he confesses to three of the charges at court.
Shameem said the State will withdraw the charge of conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism.
“We will withdraw the charge of conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism is he honors the terms of the plea deal,” he said.
Shameem said he does not believe Adhuham will rescind on the plea deal.
“We have enough evidence to put him away for 37 years. I don’t believe Adhuham will withdraw his confession,” he said.
Adhuham was arrested from his residence in suburban Hulhumale’ on May 9.
The other suspects charged in connection to the case are:
Mujaz was pressed with two charges; conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism and aiding and abetting a fugitive.
Mujaz was pressed with the charges based on evidence he aided Adhuham after he fled the scene after detonating by IED by bringing him clothes, found a taxi and escorted Adhuham to a guesthouse in Male’ City, hid him, brought him a trimmer and helped him change his appearance, and handed him over to someone else so he can be taken to Hulhumale’.
Thahmeen was pressed with four charges; participating in carrying out an act of terrorism, conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism, aiding in transporting an explosive, and supporting a terrorist organization.
He was pressed with the charges based on evidence he met with other suspects at a tea shop in Hulhumale’ to “sanction” Nasheed’s assassination, and was actively involved in strapping an IED to a motorcycle registered to his name, and had supported and promoted the ideologies of ISIS since 2019.
Haisham was pressed with three charges; conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism, aiding in transporting an explosive, and participating in carrying out an act of terrorism.
He was pressed with the charges based on evidence he met with other suspects at a tea shop in Hulhumale’ to “sanction” Nasheed’s assassination, and was actively involved in strapping an IED to the motorcycle used in the attack.
Shameem said police found both Thahmeen and Haisham’s DNA on the IED.
However, charged weren't filed against Ahmed Fathih, 23, Dhunfini Ufaa, L. Gan - one of the first suspects arrested in connection to the case.
Shameem said that his office was unable to press charges against Fathih at this time based on available evidence.
“Based on the evidence and information available to us at this time, we have decided not to press charges against him at this time. I will not go into further detail,” he said.
Shameem said he is unable to go into detail as the investigation against Fathih remains open. He said that a final decision on whether he will be charged or not will be decided once the investigation is complete.
“The investigation into this case hasn’t been completely concluded. And there is still certain information required from Fathih. And we have yet to completely finalize some of the information on Fathih,” he said.
Fathih was arrested from B. Dharavandhoo on May 19.
Shameem said additional suspects are also negotiating with the State for plea deals.
“Additional suspects have also expressed interest in signing plea deals. We are conducting negotiations,” he said.
Police said in a press conference in July that the suspects involved in the attack believe Nasheed to be an apostate who openly mocks the religion of Islam and Prophet Mohamed, and that killing him to be justified.
They said the terror cell involved in the attack made prior attempts to assassinate Nasheed by strapping the same motorcycle used in the May 6 attack with an IED and parking it outside the residence of his spouse, Laila Ahmed.
Police said that while they found evidence suggesting the suspects to be ISIS sympathizers, but found no evidence directly linking them with the international terror organization.