May 6 attack: Adhuham signs plea deal with State

The suspect who detonated an IED in the May 6 attack that targeted Speaker of the Parliament and former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, Ahmed Adhuham has signed a plea deal with the State to reduce his sentence.

A terror attack was carried out against Nasheed on May 6 by detonating an IED as he entered his vehicle near his residence in capital Male'. According to the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), the IED was strapped to a motorcycle parked nearby. Nasheed sustained serious injuries in the attack and multiple critical surgeries were performed on Nasheed at ADK Hospital in Male'. Nasheed later traveled to Germany on May 13 for additional treatment, and he is currently recuperating from his injuries in the United Kingdom.

Ahmed Adhuham is the suspect who remotely denoted the IED strapped to the motorcycle as Nasheed entered his vehicle. According to the police, he was ready to sacrifice his life to successfully carry out the attack. Terrorism charges were raised against Adhuham for injuring the Speaker by remotely denoting an IED device with the intent of murder, and for endangering the lives of other people on the scene.

In a press conference held Tuesday, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said 13 charges have been raised against four suspects linked to the attack. Four charges were raised against Adhuham, including carrying out an act of terrorism, conspiring to carry out an act of terrorism, supporting a terrorist organization and attempting to kill a person using sharp or dangerous weapons. Adhuham will face a sentence of over 40 years in jail if convicted of the charges against him.

However, Adhuham has signed a plea deal with the State which will reduce the sentence to 23 years. Under the deal, the charges of supporting a terrorist organization will be withdrawn, said Shameem. Adhuham has already given a statement in court, and the statement can be used during the trial, he added. Even if Adhuham changes his statement and withdraws his confession during the trial stage, there is enough evidence against him to put him behind bars, said the PG.

'Even if he withdraws from the plea deal, we have enough evidence against him. With that, there may be challenges in proving one charge. However, we have enough evidence to put him away for 37 years. We can definitely prove two charges. If he is found guilty of one charge, his sentence will be decided as per Article 94 of the Penal Code. Therefore, we can convict him on two charges. I don't believe Adhuham will withdraw from the deal. If he withdraws, he will face 37 years in jail," said Shameem.