Husnu al-Suood, the president of the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances, on Tuesday defended the decision to reveal the findings of their investigation into the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan.
The commission, which was formed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to probe cold cases of murders and enforced disappearances, presented an "update" of its report on Rilwan's case to the president.
The commission came under fire from the public after Suood also presented a summary of the report, hailed as the most detailed and disturbing compilation released by a Maldivian institution to date, to Speaker of Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed earlier this week. The speaker had distributed copies to the parliamentary group leaders, which were later withdrawn.
Speaking to local media Mihaaru, Suood rebutted the criticism, stating that the commission's decision proved advantageous as several more individuals have since reached out, offering to give their statements and share additional information regarding Rilwan's case.
Noting that the report detailed the identities of persons implicated in Rilwan's disappearance, Suood elaborated that the new information has encouraged other members of the public to come forward with their knowledge on the suspects. He expressed confidence that the commission would receive more evidence for the case as a result.
"This has opened our eyes more, bringing new leads and directions to take", he said.
The former attorney general revealed at a press conference last Sunday that most of the evidence indicated that Rilwan was murdered by a local extremist group affiliated with al-Qaeda. However, Suood said that disparities between different testimonies prevented the aforementioned evidence from being sufficient to prove a murder.
The state had previously charged two suspects over Rilwan's disappearance, who were later acquitted by the Criminal Court. To date, the case has not been appealed at the High Court.