Five charged for obstructing president’s motorcade

Opposition PPM protestors block the president's motorcade on March 20, 2023.

Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) has filed charges against five people in connection to the deliberate obstruction of the president’s motorcade.

The incident in question took place on the night of March 20, near the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) headquarters in Male’ City. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s motorcade had been traveling en route to Muliaage after an event in Hulhumale’ when it ran into PPM protestors. Some of the protestors surrounded the motorcade and prevented its passage.

The protestors had kept the motorcade blocked for a good 15 minutes despite both Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and Maldives Police Service (MPS) officials present at the scene.

Five people who have been charged in connection to the case are;

  • Mohamed Abbas, Hulhumale’ Lot no: 11328
  • Ahmed Rasheed, Dhafthar no: RS 9151
  • Ahmed Azeel, Hulhumale’ Flat no: 154-2-06
  • Ahmed Sinaan, Aston Villa, GA Dhevvadhoo
  • Mariyam Maasha, Shady Corner, Sh. Bilehfahi

Mohamed Abbas, Ahmed Rasheed, and Ahmed Azeel have been charged with obstructing the administration of law or other government functions under Article 533 of the Penal Code. The charges against them were filed on May 31st.

Ahmed Sinaan and Mariyam Maasha have been charged with obstructing the administration of law or other government function and disorderly conduct under Article 533 and Article 615 of the Penal Code respectively. The charges against them were filed on May 16th.

Their cases were filed with the Criminal Court. All five were arrested initially, however, two have been released from custody since.

The motorcade obstruction of the president is being investigated by the Parliament’s Committee on National Security Service (241 Committee) as a serious security breach. Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Did and top MNDF officials were summoned to the Committee during the course of their investigation. However, as the convening had been held behind closed doors, their details remain unclear. 

Brigadier General Abdulla Ibrahim, the president’s security unit’s commander was suspended by MNDF for the investigation of the case. He has been cleared of negligence after an inquiry.