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Commission launches probe into leaked Afrasheem report

Shahudha Mohamed
17 November 2019, MVT 21:35
President of the Commission on Investigations of Murders and Enforced Disappearances Husnu Al Suood (L) and member Misbah Abbas speaking at a press conference. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
17 November 2019, MVT 21:35

Presidential Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances, on Sunday, launched a probe over leaking the commission's investigative report on the murder of prominent religious scholar and Ungoofaaru MP, Dr Afrasheem Ali.

The commission, established by the president to investigate cold cases and unsolved murders, presented the report on Afrasheem's assassination to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on November 14.

President Solih then shared the confidential report with five relevant authorities -- Prosecutor General's (PG) Office, Attorney General's (AG) Office, Maldives Police Service, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and the parliament.

Social media activist Ahmed Ashraf (Shumba) was summoned to the commission for questioning on Saturday night over the leak.

He revealed on Sunday that he was summoned on allegations of sharing the report with some local journalists. However, Ashraf explained on Twitter that he denied the allegations on the basis of never having received the report.

According to Ashraf, he was released without further questions.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed presented a summary of Afrasheem's investigative report during Sunday's parliament session. Nasheed stated that the President's Office shared the report with him.

Expressing sadness over being abroad at this time, the president of the commission, Husnu Al Suood, announced that a press conference will be held to give a detailed presentation of the commission's findings once he returns to the country.

Tweet by President of the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances Husnu Al Suood. PHOTO: TWITTER

As per the commission's report, a terrorist group operating in Maldives contracted a third party with Afrasheem's assassination.

The report further details that Mohamed Mazeed and Saamith Mohamed lead the terrorist group, also suspected of being involved in the enforced disappearance of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan.

Moreover, the report states that Azlif Rauf allegedly orchestrated Afrasheem's murder and utilised his gang members, who were involved in the peddling of drugs and alcohol, to carry out the act.

Azlif departed overseas in 2015 while Afrasheem's case was under investigation. Later, rumours surfaced that Azlif was killed in the Syrian conflict, although authorities have yet to confirm his death.

Till date, only Hussain Humam was convicted over Afrasheem's murder and sentenced to capital punishment. This verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court as well.

Ali Shan (Sato), who was charged along with Humam, was acquitted although the commission's report alleges Shan of having been actively involved in the assassination.

Shan is a leading political activist for Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the largest party in the ruling coalition, and the Senior Executive Manager of state-run Greater Male' Industrial Zone Ltd (GMIZL). He was suspended from his position on Sunday afternoon over the commission's report.

The report also discloses extensive involvement of a minor in Afrasheem's murder.

The renowned religious scholar was discovered stabbed to death in the stairwell of his home in the early hours of October 1, 2012.

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