Abdulla Fahmy, who was accused in connection to a tanker bearing a Maldivian flag that was spotted alongside a UN-blacklisted North Korean tanker early this year, has been remanded until the end of his trial by the Criminal Court.
Fahmy who was arrested in the wake of the incident, had been released last May. However the Criminal Court decided to detain him under the end of his terrorism trial, during the preliminary hearing held Tuesday.
The court made the decision upon the prosecution's request, which had accused Fahmy of threatening some of the witnesses for the case.
Should Fahmy be found guilty of the terrorism charge against him, he would face a prison sentence of 17 - 20 years.
The Maldivian-flagged tanker ‘Xin Yuan 18’ was spotted lying alongside the North Korean-flagged tanker ‘Chon Ma San’, which was designated as a vessel of targeted sanction against North Korea by the US government, on February 23 by an aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The Japanese foreign ministry had alleged at the time that the two vessels, in the East China Sea, could have been engaged in illegal ship-to-ship transfers.
However, the Maldivian government had swiftly countered the accusation that the tanker was of Maldivian origin, declaring that no such vessel was registered in the country. The government had condemned and warned of “aggressive action” against the individuals who had illegally hoisted the Maldivian flag on the tanker.