Isu, suspect in Rilwan’s murder, released from jail

Ismail Abdul Raheem (Isu) (C). (File Photo/Sun/Midhuam Saud)

Ismail Abdul Raheem (Isu), one of the men charged for aiding in the 2014 abduction and murder of a reporter and 2017 murder of a blogger has been released from detention.

Three people were arrested in connection to the two high-profile cases investigated by the Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom), in June 2022.

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed terror charges against the suspects - Isu, Ahmed Muaz (Gatu Mua), and Ahmed Ismail (Buru Ahandhu) – in August 2022.

Isu’s conditional release on Wednesday came after Ahandhu was granted similar concessions by the Criminal Court in June.

As per the terms of his release, Isu has his passport confiscated, and has been restricted from leaving his residence unless absolutely necessary. He is also being monitored with an ankle bracelet.

The court has also issued a protective order to prevent him from contacting witnesses in the cases.

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.

Isu has been charged with two counts of aiding in the commission of an act of terrorism.

According to the PGO, Isu had stalked Rilwan, and aided in his kidnapping and murder. And he had also stalked Yameen Rasheed, and aided in his murder.

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, 2022.

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.