The murders of parliamentarian Dr. Afrasheem Ali and blogger Yameen Rasheed, and the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan, were connected, revealed the Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances on Sunday.
In response to a reporter's inquiry during a press conference at the President's Office, the commission's chief Husnu al-Suood declared that there were patterns and similarities between the three cases, leading the commission to believe they were linked.
Replying to another question regarding rumours of jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb's alleged connection to the murders and disappearance, Suood stated that the commission would interrogate Adeeb if necessary.
Shedding light on the commission's progress, Suood revealed that they have gathered enough information to make headway in five of the investigations, including the cases of Afrasheem, Rilwan and Yameen.
"...we've collected a lot of information, summoned many people, taken several statements. We have enough information to figure out the overall picture of these cases".
Disclosing that Maldives Police Service have shared their data on the three cases with the commission, Suood further revealed that the investigation into Afrasheem's murder was on hiatus after the Presidential Election 2013.
"After the incident occurred in 2012, Dr. Afrasheem's murder case was halted after the government changed on November 17, 2013".
Citing the police's information, Suood stated that the investigation resumed in October 2015, after a special committee was formed to tackle the case.
According to Suood, the investigation into Dr. Afrasheem's death in late 2015 had unearthed new information, which the police have also shared with the commission.
The presidential commission had announced earlier the same day that 24 cold cases will be investigated, and that the commission was seeking the assistance of foreign experts. The cold cases undertaken include several unsolved murders, disappearances and suspicious deaths.