Luthfee to be freed after completing sentence on November 27th

Abdulla Luthfee (C) is extradited to Maldives on July 9, 2019. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

Maldives Correctional Service states Abdulla Luthfee, H. Haajaraage, who led the 1988 coup d'état attempt in the Maldives with assistance from Tamil mercenary group that saw the death of 19 Maldivians, will be freed after the completion of his sentence on November 27th.

Luthfee completed serving his 25-year prison sentence in connection to the case in June this year. He is now serving a seven-month and six days prison sentence delivered two years ago for fleeing when he was permitted to travel overseas while serving a life sentence for his role in the 1988 attack for medical purposes.

A Correction Spokesperson told Sun that he will be freed after the completion of that sentence on November 27th.

Luthfee was first sentenced to death in connection to the coup which attempted to overthrow then-president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. However, Maumoon, later commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. As per the law, a life sentence amounts to 25 years.

He was serving a life sentence for his role in the 1988 attack when he was issued a one-year travel document to travel to India for medical treatment at his own expense by the Home Ministry on January 16, 2010.

Abdulla Luthfee, the mastermind behind the terror plot of November 3, 1988, being escorted for investigation. (File Photo)

Correctional Service to locate and arrest Luthfee to enforce his sentence. An Interpol red notice seeking Luthfee’s arrest was issued subsequently.

Nevertheless, Luthfee remained at large for nearly a decade, before surrendering himself to officials at the Maldivian embassy in Colombo on May 1, 2019 amid security sweeps in Sri Lanka following the Easter bombings on April 21, 2019.

He was extradited to Maldives on July 9, 2019, and was charged with fleeing a detention facility.

Luthfee pled guilty to the charge. As a result, he received a lighter sentence of seven months and six days.

Abdulla Luthfee is extradited to Maldives on JUly 9, 2019. (Photo/Sun/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

The foiled coup of November 3, 1988 to overthrow former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration killed 19 Maldivian citizens; eight officers and 11 civilians.

Luthfee had scoured around Male’ City alongside the Tamil mercenaries while armed with guns. They breached the houses of some cabinet ministers in an attempt to locate them.

When the coup failed, Luthfee alongside some of the mercenaries, attempted to flee on a vessel belonging to the state’s shipping company, MSL’s MV Progress Lite. However, the Indian armed forces which assisted the Maldives in foiling the coup attacked the vessel to sink it. They caught Luthfee and the mercenaries aboard and also rescued the Maldivian citizens they took as hostages.

Sagar Ahmed Nasir, another Maldivian who participated in the coup alongside Luthfee, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in connection to the case. It has been years since he has been freed after completing his sentence.