'No legal grounds to arrest two officers' : Police

Maldives Police Service has stated that there are no legal grounds to arrest the two police officers alleged to have been involved in the abduction and murder of Miniwan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

Two intelligence officers, Corporal Mohamed Jinah and Corporal Ibrahim Riffath are acussed of attempting to clone Rilwan's passport on former Vice resident Ahmed Adeeb's order, in an attempt to fabricate evidence that Rilwan had been killed in war-torn Syria.

The information came to light after the Presidential Commission Investigating Enforced Disappearances and Murders publicized a report on their findings on Rilwan's murder. Consequently, the Attorney General's Office instructed the police to arrest the two officers.

However, a statement released by the police late Friday said Rilwan's case is a criminal investigation being conducted by the presidential commission under a special jurisdiction, of which the findings and evidences have been publicized. Therefore, discussions were held via telephone with the commission regarding carrying out criminal procedures for the same case.

While solid evidence against the two two officers have not been obtained by neither the police nor the commission, there are no legal grounds to arrest the two officers, said the police.

However, administrative action is being taken against the officers, with both officers having been placed under suspension. The disciplinary board of the police are currently investigating the case.

Shortly after the statement was released, former Home Minister Umar Naseer took to Facebook to reveal that the two officer were dismissed from their positions during the tenure of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom following investigation. However, the two officers were reinstated to their posts by the current administration, said Umar.

While all meetings of the Parliament's National Security committee related to police negligence in Rilwan's case were closed to the media, Umar said the meeting during which the Commissioner of Police was summoned to the committee was held in secret in an attempt to cover up the fact that the officers had been reinstated by the current government.