Sheikh Imran's party urges fresh probe after ex-VP's claims

Religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) on Thursday urged the authorities to launch a fresh investigation into the jailing of its leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla over the claims made by jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.

Imran was sentenced to 12 years in prison for inciting violence during a major opposition protest held in May 2015. Prosecutors blamed the violence and destruction of property on a speech delivered by Imran during the protest.

Adheeb who himself was later jailed for 33 years on multiple counts of terrorism and corruption including an attempt to assassinate president Yameen in a statement alleged that the violence and clashes with the police had been orchestrated by his former boss.

The former VP said the president had plotted to remove Sheikh Imran from the political landscape soon after the coalition government which included Adhaalath Party (AP) ended and had exploited the May Day protest to do away with a political rival.

Adheeb said if given the chance he was ready to testify before a court of law and reveal the truth behind the unjust jailing of Sheikh Imran.

During a press conference on Thursday, head of AP's foreign relations committee Sidhaathaa Shareef insisted that Adheeb's revelation gave further weight to Imran's innocence which the authorities must investigate.

"We all know that it was a politically motivated plot to eliminate Imran from the political equation. Adheeb's statement is further proof of that. So we call on the authorities to reopen Imran's case and investigate his unjust imprisonment," she stressed.