Luthufee to be returned to Maldives within 48 hours

Maldives Police Service has revealed that arrangements are being made to return Abdulla Luthufee, who led the November 3 1988 coup attempt on the Maldives, back to Maldives within 48 hours.

Luthufee's life imprisonment sentence for treason was suspended by former president Mohamed Nasheed's administration, and was sent to Si Lanka for medical treatment on 16th January 2010. He has been residing in the country since then as a fugitive. However, he turned himself in at the Maldivian Embassy in Sri Lanka on 1st May and has been residing at the Embassy since then.

Police spokesperson Chief Inspector of Police Izmia Zahir told AVAS that the last stages of arranging Luthufee's return to Maldives are being finalized, and relayed that the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed had stated that Luthufee is expected to be returned to Maldives within 48 hours.

"We are working with relevant authorities in Sri Lanka to return Luthufee back to Maldives at the earliest", said Izmia.

Former Home Minister Umar Naseer, who first revealed the news of Luthufee seeking refuge at the Maldivian Embassy in Sri Lanka told AVAS that Luthufee was forced to present himself at the embassy due to the search operations conducted by the Sri Lankan government following the terrorist attacks on the country last April. Luthufee, who does not possess a passport or other official documentations sought asylum at the embassy, said Umar.

Assisted by armed foreign mercenaries, Luthufee led the attacks on Maldives on 3rd November 1988 that killed 19 Maldivians. Charged and convicted for treason, Luthufee received the death penalty for his crimes. However, then President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom lightened his sentence to life imprisonment. If Luthufee had not fled the country in 2010, he would have completed his sentence by 2014.