Main suspect in blast attack that injured ex-Maldives president arrested
Male, May 9 (EFE).- Maldives police on Sunday arrested the main suspect believed to be behind a car bomb attack that wounded former president Mohamed Nasheed and released images allegedly showing him remotely activating the explosive device.
The arrest of the key suspect, Ad’ham Ahmed Rasheed, 25, came a day after another two suspects aged 21 and 32 years were detained, Maldives police said at a presser.
“At the moment, these are the three men we wanted to arrest. We will make more arrests when necessary,” Deputy Police Commissioner Mohamed Riyaz said.
The suspect will remain pre-trial detention for at least 15 days.
Nasheed, 53, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president and current head of the parliament, was critically wounded in the IED blast on Thursday afternoon.
Rasheed is accused of detonating the explosive device while hiding at the entrance of a guest house five meters away from Nasheed’s parked car, according to CCTV camera images released by the police.
Investigations will continue as more people are believed to have participated in planning and executing the attack, Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed added at a press conference.
“We will go after the people involved in planning this attack, after the people involved in the execution of the attack, and anyone who was involved in any way in the case,” he added.
The former president’s condition is stable after 16 hours of surgery, according to doctors.
The blast also wounded three of his bodyguards and two civilians, including a British citizen.
In 2008, Nasheed became the first democratically elected leader of the island chain some 700 km (435 miles) southwest of India.
Three years after his government was toppled, Nasheed was convicted of terrorism for having fired a judge while president and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
He spent a year in custody before being allowed to travel to London for medical care. Once in the United Kingdom, Nasheed successfully applied for political asylum.
When a colleague from his Maldivian Democratic Party won the 2018 presidential election, Nasheed returned to the archipelago and convinced a court to overturn his 2015 conviction, enabling him to be elected to parliament in 2019. EFE