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Emergency motion to parliament over delay in Luthfee's extradition

Shahudha Mohamed
01 July 2019, MVT 10:57
Abdulla Luthfee under national custody following the attempted coup d'état of November 3, 1988.
Shahudha Mohamed
01 July 2019, MVT 10:57

An emergency motion was submitted to parliament on Monday over the delay in extraditing Abdulla Luthfee, the conspirator behind the coup d'état of November 3, 1988, who had turned himself in at the Maldivian embassy in Sri Lanka.

The motion was filed by Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef of opposition People's National Congress (PNC).

As per the motion, Luthfee was the leader behind the attempt to unlawfully overthrow the government by taking over the National Security Service (NSS) with the help of armed rouge fighters from Sri Lanka's People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), resulting in the death of 19 Maldivians.

Additionally, the motion highlights that the High Court initially sentenced the traitor to capital punishment over his crimes, adding that Luthfee was responsible for further wounding many military personnel and civilians, in addition to subjecting the community to great emotional and physical distress.

However, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom reduced Luthfee's sentence to life imprisonment.

The motion further stated that Maldives Police Service confirmed Luthfee's location one month and 24 days after he turned himself in at the embassy.

Noting that the police guaranteed last Tuesday that Luthfee would be extradited within 48 hours, Adam Shareef's motion accused the authorities' reasoning for the delay in Luthfee's extradition to be nothing but excuses.

Moreover, the motion stated that the government's actions regarding Luthfee's extradition were irresponsible, claiming that Police were avoiding responsibility over the issue instead of providing the public with clear information.

Adam Shareef expressed that President Ibrahim Solih's government was not doing enough to extradite Luthfee who was issued with an Interpol red notice, despite having an extradition agreement with Sri Lanka. He said that they were using the excuse that Luthfee possessed documents from the United Nations (UN) which granted him protection.

According to a statement formerly released by the police, Luthfee surrendered himself over to the embassy on May 1, which led to speculation that he was forced to seek protection at the embassy amidst the state of emergency and crackdown that followed the terror attacks across Sri Lanka on April 21.

However, former president and current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed declared that Luthfee reported to the embassy on April 20, one day before Lanka was hit with the bomb blasts.

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