Maldives AG urges people with info over missing journo to come forward

Maldives Attorney General Mohamed Anil Saturday admitted that there would be people still in the country with information regarding the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan and urged anyone with knowledge to come forward to aid the investigation.

Maldives Independent reporter went missing over two years ago and despite an extensive investigation, Rilwan's disappearance remains a mystery.

Speaking during a ceremony to publicize the country's human rights framework on Saturday, Anil said the delay in filing the missing persons report had severely impeded the investigation.

Despite widespread opposition criticism and allegations of a government conspiracy, the AG reiterated that the police investigation into Rilwan's disappearance remains the most comprehensive to date.

Anil said the authorities still believed foul play and insisted that the perpetrators must face justice.

The AG repeatedly called on anyone with information related to Rilwan's disappearance to come forward.

"I refuse to believe that a person in a tiny country like the Maldives can just disappear into thin air. I'm certain that there would people in the Maldives who knows what happened. No one can just simply let this go. I urge anyone with any information to notify the relevant authorities," Anil said.

Criminal court had freed the last two suspects in custody over the missing journalist due to a lack of evidence earlier this year.

Police had confirmed that Aalif Rauf, 29 years, and Mohamed Nooradeen, 31 years, were released after they were produced in court for remand extension.

The pair were arrested in April and remained in police custody before they were transferred to house arrest.

Police had said Rilwan was abducted from outside his apartment using a car owned by Aalif.

Police had also said confirmed that members of a local gang – led by Aalif – had tailed Rilwan for hours on the night he went missing. The chief suspect, Mohamed Suaid, was detained for a few weeks in September 2014.

Suaid left the country in January last year with Aalif’s brother Azlif Rauf, a former soldier arrested for the brutal stabbing murder of MP Afrasheem Ali in 2012. He was never formally charged.

The pair had reportedly died fighting in a battle in Syria last year.