May 6 attack: Will raise charges if evidence is found, assures PGO

The Prosecutor General's Office has said the State would raise charges against those involved in the 2021 attack on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed as it acquires evidence against them.

A terror attack was carried out against Nasheed on May 6, 2021, by detonating an IED as he entered his vehicle near his residence in the capital, Male'. Nasheed sustained severe injuries in the attack, and multiple critical surgeries were performed on him to save his life. Following procedures in the Maldives, he received further treatment from Germany and the United Kingdom.

While a year has passed since the attack, concerned parties have voiced their doubts regarding the investigation. Members of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are particularly concerned that no charges were raised against one suspect who was arrested in relation to the attack. While Ismail Fathih, 23, had transported a second suspect, Mujah Ahmed, from one point to another on the night of the attack, the PG Office had said there was not enough incriminating evidence to charge him, and he was therefore released from custody.

A statement issued by the PG Office said there are no obstructions to seeking charges in terrorism cases even if the evidence is found after the incident.

'The fact that no charges have been raised against a particular suspect does not mean he cannot be charged if any new evidence is found later on. This office will decide on pursuing charges based on the evidence we receive during the course of an investigation, whether the suspect is in custody or not,' the office said.

The statement further said Abbas Faiz, the Special Envoy appointed by the President to monitor the investigation of the terrorist attack against the Speaker Nasheed, has also noted that there are no concerns regarding the investigation and the charging stage.

While the PG Office has charged nine people linked to the May 6 attack, one of the suspects, Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, has admitted that he denoted the IED that caused the explosion. Although the remaining eight suspects denied the charges against them, the PG Office said enough evidence to convict them had been submitted to the court. This includes Adhuham's admittance of his actions, DNA evidence, real evidence, scientific evidence, and other evidence.

The PG Office further said the office had been involved in investigating the May 6 attack since the beginning and said the office utilized all resources available in the Maldives and abroad in conducting the investigation. The office assured that they would continue to work in the same manner.

While the PG Office has issued a statement on the May 6 attack, Nasheed has raised questions regarding released suspect Fathih using his pseudo Twitter account.

Fathih, 23, used to be a police officer until he voluntarily quit the force in 2020. He was the fourth suspect to be arrested following the attack. However, he was released on August 6, 2021, after the Prosecutor General deemed that there were no charges that could be raised against him at that time.

In Nasheed's tweet, he claimed that Fathih was dismissed from the police force after the May 6 attack in 2021. However, the police have refuted Nasheed's claim and said Fathih joined the police force on November 25, 2019, and quit the force on February 23, 2021.