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Criminal Court acquits 2 accused of plotting suicide attack

18 January 2021, MVT 08:41
Ishaaq Ali of Maduvvari, Raa Atoll, and Hussain Afeef of Fuvahmulah arrive at the Criminal Court for their terrorism trial. FILE PHOTO: MIHAARU
18 January 2021, MVT 08:41

The Criminal Court on Sunday acquitted two suspects who were charged with plotting a suicide attack in August 2017.

Ishaaq Ali of Maduvvari, Raa Atoll, and Hussain Afeef of Fuvahmulah were arrested in September 2017 and charged with organising an act of terrorism and planning to carry out a suicide attack, respectively.

During Sunday's verdict hearing, the Criminal Court pronounced them not guilty over lack of evidence.

In its ruling, the court noted that the evidence submitted against Afeef comprised of financial transactions between him and Ishaaq, videos and photographs about the extremist terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) on his phone, and the police's findings that he had connections to people that subscribed to extremist ideologies.

However, the court noted that prosecutors were unable to prove whether he had executed any elements that constitute a terrorist attack, as listed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The details of Ishaaq's verdict are currently unavailable.

Moreover, the state had previously said during the trial that they were unable to determine the location of the alleged suicide attack.

Following their initial arrest, Ishaaq and Afeef were conditionally released in November 2018, until the High Court ordered their re-arrest in April 2019. The two were remanded until Sunday's verdict.

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