The Prosecutor General’s Office has filed charges against three people for aiding in the 2014 abduction and murder of a reporter and 2017 murder of a blogger - two high-profile cases under investigation by the Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom).
Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, 28, a journalist who worked for Minivan News (later renamed Maldives Independent), was last seen on August 8, 2014. He is believed to have been abducted and murdered.
Meanwhile, Yameen Rasheed, 29, a blogger and rights activist, was stabbed to death in the stairwell of his residence in Male’ City, M. Spatula, on April 23, 2017.
The Prosecutor General’s Office filed charges with the Criminal Court against three people in connection to the cases on Monday, They are:
Isu was pressed with two counts of aiding in the commission of an act of terrorism. According to the PGO, he was pressed with the charges for stalking Rilwan and aiding in his kidnapping and murder, and stalking Yameen Rasheed and aiding in his murder.
Buru Ahandhu was charged with conspiracy to carry out act of terrorism. According to PGO, he was pressed with the charge because he planned Rilwan’s murder, and had others murder him in accordance with the plan he made with his co-conspirators.
Meanwhile, Gut Mua was also charged with conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism. According to PGO, he was pressed with the charge for arranging for Yameen Rasheed to be stalked.
All three were arrested on June 26.
Preliminary investigative findings by DDCom showed Rilwan was abducted and murdered. He was forced into a car while on his way to his apartment in Hulhumale’, forced on a boat registered to AA. Ukulhas, on board which he was decapitated and his body thrown overboard.
His body was never recovered
The case produced charges against only two suspects; Alif Rauf, H. Hilton, K. Male’, and Mohamed Noorddeen, Karankaage, GDh. Vaadhoo.
Both of them were acquitted.
Meanwhile, six suspects were put on trial for Yameen Rasheed's murder; Ismail Haisham Rasheed (H. Annaarumaage, K. Male'), Ahmed Zihan Ismail (M.Iraasmikge, K. Male’), Mohamed Dhifran (Simbadge, G. Dh. Gadhdhoo), Hassan Shifaz (M. Kudhehige, K. Male'), Ismail Rasheed (M. Thaaif, K. Male'), and Hussain Ziyad (M. Kolhufushi East, K. Male'.
They were charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon.
The court issued its ruling in the case on January 19.
Haisham and Zihan – who were accused of active involvement in the murder – were found guilty of the murder. They were issued life sentences and ordered to pay MVR 1.3 million as diya (financial compensation).
The other four suspects were acquitted.
DDCom had suspended its investigation when the trial began, and resumed the investigation after it ended.