Sri Lanka asks Maldives to expedite 'sniper' trial

Family of Sri Lankan man charged over the alleged sniper plot to kill the has lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka foreign ministry, according to media reports.

The complainant requested the Foreign Ministry to take measures to get her husband, who was detained for more than a year, released.

The 24-year-old Sri Lankan, Lahiru Madushanka, was arrested on October 24, 2015 on suspicion that he was a sniper hired to assassinate president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

According to Sri Lanka media reports, Madushanka's wife Chandani Madurangi Jayathunga told BBC Sandeshaya that her husband went to the Maldives seeking employment but did not get to meet the contact person there. After few days he has decided to return to Sri Lanka and the Maldivian authorities arrested him at the airport.

The Foreign Ministry is in constant attention to the Madushanka's case and the Foreign Minister and the Foreign Secretary have been in discussion with the Maldivian authorities, Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs CAHM Wijeratne was quoted.

Pointing out that Sri Lanka cannot intervene in a judicial activity in a foreign country, the Director of the Legal Department said the Sri Lankan government has however requested the Government of Maldives to accelerate the court proceedings.

In addition to Madhushanka, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor who is already serving 33 in prison over two separate counts of terrorism, two locals Fazeel Hameed and Ishaag Hussain have been charged in the case.

Adheeb, Fazeel and Madhushanka have been charged with conspiracy to murder while Ishaag has been charged as an accessory.

Prosecutors had said Adheeb and Fazeel had conspired to hire a sniper to assassinate president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Madhushanka had accepted the contract and flown into the Maldives to carry out the assassination, the charges said.

According to prosecutors Ishaag was the mediator who delivered the contract payment.