May 6 trial: Court rejects Thahmeen’s witnesses

Thahmeen Ahmed, Folheyma, GA. Kondey. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

The Criminal Court on Sunday rejected witnesses submitted by Thahmeen Ahmed, who is on trial on terror charges in connection to the 2021 IED attack on Parliament speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed.

The terror attack targeting Nasheed with a homemade remote-controlled IED took place on May 6, 2021. Nasheed sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds.

Thahmeen is 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.

Judge Soffath Habeeb had initially decided against allowing Thahmeen to submit witnesses in his defense after he failed to submit any during the allotted time, but decided to allow it after he asked for a second chance.

Thahmeen presented two witnesses to court on Sunday, to establish an alibi at the time of the attack.

The prosecution asked the court to reject both witnesses, arguing that witnesses cannot be presented to prove something that wasn’t investigated or even brought up by the defense during the investigation.

Thahmeen’s lawyer responded that his client did not have to answer questions he wasn’t asked. He said his client wasn’t questioned specifically about May 6, but about another date.

Following the presentation of arguments from both sides, the judge decided to reject the two witnesses. However, judge noted that one of the witnesses was also presented to prove another argument by the defense, and that he will allow it.

The next hearings will see the testimony of witnesses from both sides. The hearings will be held with all defendants in attendance.

The others on trial in the case are:

  • Mujaz Ahmed, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’
  • Ali Haisham, Nooreege, N. Manadhoo
  • Mohamed Nazim, Asareege, AA. Maalhos
  • Fahumy Ali, Hudhuruvaage, GA. Vilingili
  • Is’haq, M. Kudhehige, K. Male’

The May 6 trial has produced only one conviction so far, that against Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, Hiyaa, V. Thinadhoo, who confessed to detonating the IED. He signed a plea deal with the prosecution and received a reduced sentence of 23 years in prison in 2021.