The first-ever parliamentary inquiry of its kind launched in the wake of the terror attack on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has compiled a list of 40 MNDF officers to be questioned on how Speaker Nasheed’s security was breached.
The parliamentary inquiry, spearheaded by the Parliament Committee on National Security Services (241 committee) is being assisted by foreign experts as well. The Chairperson of the Committee, MP Mohamed Aslam has said the necessary information is being collected before questioning the relevant individuals to the investigation.
Local media have reported that the necessary information required for the investigation has been collected and now the committee is preparing to inform and question the individuals relevant to the investigation including MNDF and Police Officers. As part of the investigation, around 40 key officers in different ranks have been identified by the committee.
The officers will be questioned over the process of how the security intelligence department works in both MNDF and Maldives Police Service. Five senior figures from Maldives Police Service will be summoned to answer the queries of the committee even though Maldives Police Service was not involved in the security detail of Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.
However, a statement released by MNDF yesterday stated that they will support the inquiry by the parliament but will not be willing to let individual officers be questioned over the attack, instead MNDF as an institution will be answering all queries. MNDF detailed the due process followed in providing information to the parliament on military duties and responsibilities, as per the Armed Forces Act, stating that the Minister of Defense is accountable to the president and the parliament, whereas the Chief of Defense Force is accountable to the Minister of Defense. Individual officers of the MNDF are answerable to the Chief of Defense Force.
Moreover, MNDF further claimed that the Armed Forces Act forbids military officials from sharing any information obtained in the course of their duties with anybody other than those authorized by law. Individual officers being investigated, according to the MNDF, violate the military structure and line of command.
Despite the long statement by MNDF, parliament is not willing to back down on their request to question individual officers. Parliament believes they have appropriate powers under the constitution to question anyone for any official inquiry launched by the parliament.
The IED explosion which went off around 20:20 on 6th May leaving Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and three others injured. The suspects arrested in connection with the attack are Ahmed Adhuham, Mujaaz Ahmed, Thahmeen Ahmed, and most recently Ahmed Fathih. Terrorism charges have been brought upon against all three. Several questions have been raised over how the security was breached and intelligence of security services have been criticized for not anticipating such an attack.