'Politicians attempted to make it appear that missing journo was killed in Syria'

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb attempted to make it appear as if missing Miniwan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan was killed in Syria, the Presidential Commission on Murders and Enforced disappearances has revealed.

At a press conference held on Sunday, the President of the Commission Husnu-al-Suood said an 'obstruction to justice' charge must be raised against Adeeb.

Answering a questioned posed by AVAS, the commission said Maldives Police Service had received reports that Rilwan was in danger on June 24, 2014, and was aware that an abduction attempt was likely.

Following the reports, the police shadowed Rilwan, but later handed over the case to the Political Section of the police. In the court case filed by the police to continue to shadow the subject, they had claimed that Rilwan was working against the government.

Suood revealed that former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb had attempted on several occasions to make it seem as if Rilwan was killed in war-torn Syria. He dispatched two Intel officers to meet then Immigration Controller Hassan Ali to obtain a copy of Rilwan's passport.

"Attempts were made within the police to make it appear as if Rilwan was kkilled in Syria. Adeeb worked to try achieve this. Two Intel officers of the police discussed obtaining a copy of Rilwan's passport with then Immigration Controller Hassan Ali. Hassan Ali has given a statement confirming this", said Suood.

Adeeb also communicated with a senior official of Maldives Police Service to obtain Rilwan's passport, said Suood. After a suspect arrested for Rilwan's abduction texted the Vice President, Adeeb mediated the release of the suspect through then Criminal Court judge Abdulla Didi, said Suood.

"An individual involved in Rilwan's abduction named Munaz messaged Adeeb, who then forwarded the message to then criminal court judge Abdulla Didi. This has been confirmed. We do not know the motive behind Adeeb's actions, it still remains a question", said Suood.

Suood said Adeeb and the two police officers who attempted to obtain Rilwan's passport should be charged with obstruction to justice. The commission will seek the opinion of the Prosecutor General (PG) on the matter, he added.

Suood also accused former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyom of attempting to 'divert' Rilwan's case. While he did not give much details on his allegations, Suood said the former president hired a 'priest' to perform sorcery to divert the police investigation on Rilwan's case.

Journalist Rilwan, who disappeared on August 7,2014 was killed by an extremist religious organization, said Suood. The group abducted Rilwan and took him to a boat via a dinghy, on which he was subsequently killed, said Suood.