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Verdicts announced for 2 MNDF officers jailed over speedboat blast

Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2019, MVT 16:25
High Court in capital Male' City. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2019, MVT 16:25

The High Court on Tuesday announced the verdicts for two soldiers of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) who were imprisoned following the blast aboard the presidential speedboat 'Finifenma' in September 2015.

Ahmed Thiham and Moosa Zameer were two of the MNDF officers who boarded the speedboat, which was carrying then-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and his wife Fathimath Ibrahim, after the explosion. Their actions on board were accused of being in conflict with standard policy, and the Criminal Court sentenced them to four months and 24 days in 2016.

Following their appeals, the High Court separately read their verdicts on Tuesday, upholding the jail sentence of Thiham but overturning the sentence of Zameer.

Zameer's lower court verdict was overturned unanimously by the three judges presiding over the case, Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya, Mohamed Niyaz, and Abdulla Hameed.

However, Thiham's sentence was upheld by Judges Niyaz and Hameed, while Judge Zakariyya stated that there was not enough evidence to incriminate him, and thus the lower court's verdict should be overturned.

Both Thiham and Zameer were released following the Criminal Court's verdict, as they had been remanded for a period of time longer than their sentence.

At the time, the Criminal Court had also sentenced then-Commander of Male' Area Captain Ahmed Fayaz (Papa) to two years in jail. While Fayaz had filed for appeal, the High Court still has not concluded the trial. In the meantime, Fayaz has completed his sentence and is currently free.

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