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Police to probe former governments over coup conspirator's case

Shahudha Mohamed
30 June 2019, MVT 17:36
Abdulla Luthfee, the conspirator behind the November 3, 1988, attacks that cost the lives of 19 Maldivians. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
30 June 2019, MVT 17:36

Maldives Police Service on Sunday released a statement disclosing that the authorities of former governments will be investigated over their failure to take necessary measures regarding information acquired about Abdulla Luthfee.

The statement disclosed that Police received knowledge of Luthfee's whereabouts on various occasions and disclosed said findings with seniors and top officials in relevant authorities between the years 2012 to 2016.

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed submitted an official letter to the Professional Standards Commander on Thursday requesting to investigate any negligence in Luthfee's case.

Luthfee, who led the November 3, 1988, coup which cost the lives of 19 Maldivians, turned himself in at the Maldivian Embassy in Sri Lanka on May 1, requesting to return to Maldives to complete his sentence, according to a former press release by the Police.

Police assured that they have been working with the Ministry of Home Affairs to extradite Luthfee since then.

"Efforts are underway to confirm whether any Sri Lankan authorities are investigating cases against Luthfee or are searching for him related to any cases since he resided in Sri Lanka illegally for a long period of time and to get clearance to extradite him since Maldives have been searching for Luthfee as well."

Moreover, the statement detailed that Police contacted Acting Inspector General of Sri Lankan Police C. D. Wickramaratne and Crime Investigation Department's Deputy Inspector General Ravi Seneviratne a number of times via phone and letter, requesting to expedite the necessary procedures for Luthfee's extradition.

Police assured that a special team of officers are currently in Sri Lanka overseeing the situation.

Luthfee fled on January 16, 2010, when he was granted permission to travel abroad for medical treatment in former President Mohamed Nasheed's administration.

Authorities only revealed information about Luthfee following pressure from the public and media, after former Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer announced the coup conspirator's whereabouts on Twitter.

Police Commissioner Hameed disclosed to the media last Tuesday that attempts were underway to extradite Luthfee within 48 hours. However, no progress was reported when this deadline was reached on Thursday night.

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