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President confirms commission 'not instructed to share Rilwan report'

Mariyam Malsa
10 September 2019, MVT 11:41
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks at press conference regarding Ahmed Rilwan's case on September 8, 2019. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
10 September 2019, MVT 11:41

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Monday, clarified that the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances (DDCom) was not instructed to share the report on journalist Ahmed Rilwan's disappearance with the parliament.

In response to a question posed during a press conference held at the President's Office, President Solih confirmed that he did not order the commission to convey their findings to any institution after they presented the second draft report concerning the case.

The commission, formed to probe cold cases of murders and enforced disappearances, presented the president a draft of its report on Rilwan's case.

The president added that it was decided to reveal only a certain extent of information to the public following discussions.

President Solih also revealed that the parliament was not included on the list of institutions the presidential commission requesting approval to share the report with during the latest meeting which was held on Sunday.

Speaker of Parliament and former president, Mohamed Nasheed, received a detailed and summarised draft report, the latter of which was publicized on the parliament's official website. Nasheed distributed copies of the report to all the parliamentary group leaders prior to the parliamentary debate regarding the matter.

While the copies were later withdrawn, the development sparked public controversy over the commission revealing details of the sensitive case before its final investigation report was completed or suspects prosecuted.

The president called on all individuals who had received access to the report to refrain from any action that might impede the investigation.

Despite expressing that nothing could be done concerning previous actions, President Solih asserted the importance of keeping the report confidential as the disclosure of certain information therein would hinder the investigation.

During the press conference, a journalist questioned whether the parliament's actions concerning Rilwan's report would obstruct efforts to attain justice for the journalist. In response, the president declined to comment, stating that the parliament had the legal authority to conduct its mandated work.

President Solih also revealed that the commission did not initially send copies of the draft report to the police, the Prosecutor General's Office or the Attorney General's Office as the final version of the report was due to be completed within a short period. However, the draft report has been shared with the three institutions since, in order to prevent the spread of misinformation among them.

Reiterating the government's commitment to attaining justice for Rilwan, the President asserted that relevant authorities were prepared to immediately take action over the disappearance.

Commission President Husnu al-Suood recently revealed that evidence indicated that the journalist was murdered by a local extremist group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Rilwan's whereabouts remain unknown since he was abducted in a red car on August 8, 2014, in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.

Despite the state previously charging two suspects over Rilwan's disappearance, the Criminal Court later acquitted the individuals. To date, the case has not been appealed at the High Court.

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