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High Court nullifies former Colonel Fayaz's charges

24 July 2019, MVT 18:56
Ahmed Fayaz was released June 12, 2018 after completing a two-year jail sentence. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
24 July 2019, MVT 18:56

The High Court, on Wednesday, nullified the charges levied against Ahmed Fayaz, the former Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) colonel, previously arrested in connection with 2015 'Finfenma' explosion.

In September 2015, a blast took place on the 'Finifenma' speedboat while the president and first lady were aboard. Fayaz was found guilty on two charges of commanding military personnel to obstruct police officers from boarding the speedboat to investigate the explosion.

The charges were nullified by a unanimous decision made by the three judges presiding over the matter.

The judges concluded that Fayaz did not order his subordinates to act in a manner that would constitute obstruction as defined by the penal code.

Further, the bench ruled that, per witness statements, the refusal to grant access to the launch was issued by then-Chief of Defence Forces Ahmed Shiyam.

Fayaz was released on June 12, 2018 after completing a jail sentence of two years and three months, after which the Criminal Court ruled him to be guilty.

His charges included accusations of having ordered explosives experts, Moosa Zameer and Ahmed Thiham, to tamper with evidence prior to police investigators boarding the vessel.

Fayaz was also charged with terrorism in connection to a hidden stash of weapons and explosives that were discovered in the island of Hibalhidhoo in Baa Atoll, during the investigation into the Finifenma explosion.

Additionally, he was charged with smuggling weapons out of the military armory during his tenure as the section's head, and later for obstructing efforts to recover the missing weapons. Former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb, along with a number of other individuals, were also implicated in the case.

Recently, the convictions of certain persons implicated in the blast have come under review.

Fayaz had previously served as the Male Area Commander and head of the Special Protection Group (SPG). In the wake of the Finifenma explosion, he was demoted from the military rank of Colonel to that of Captain.

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