Home Minister Imran Abdulla and top officials from the Maldives Correctional Service have been called before the People’s Majlis Committee on National Security Service (241 Committee) to explain the circumstances behind the recent release of terror suspects.
Minister Imran and MCS officials were summoned to a closed-door committee meeting on Monday owing to Majlis members’ worries about the release of terror suspects, according to 241 Committee Chairperson and North-Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam.
The High Court freed Mohamed Ameen, who is suspected of being the Maldives’ top recruiter and leader for the terrorist organisation ISIS, citing the state’s failure to file charges by the deadline.
It ruled that since Ameen was remanded under the Criminal Procedure Code, the state must file the case in accordance with the penal court standards. The state filed the case after the duration specified in the criminal code had expired but within the time frame specified in the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The 241 Committee also underlined Ali Manik’s release, who was apprehended during a counterterrorism operation conducted by security officials in the aftermath of the May 6 blast. He is accused of promoting extremist ideas, aiding suspects in the May 6 bombing, and destroying evidence linked to the event.
Ali Manik was also detained for extremism in 2007 following a standoff between security forces and a religious extremist group in AA. Himandhoo, and he was convicted to ten years in prison.
Following his incarceration, he is alleged to have tried two jail escapes, one in 2009 and one in 2010. Then, during the current administration, he was freed from prison.
While noting that several people imprisoned in connection with the Himandhoo incident had been released, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on June 29 that Ali Manik was imprisoned after that for violating the terms of his release.
Furthermore, while recognising that those facing terrorist accusations cannot be pardoned, President Solih stated that when Ali Manik’s sentence was lowered, he had just 8 months remaining, but that he had other sentences as well.
He also stated that when the government attempted to shorten his sentence, the MCS advised that Ali Manik had reformed and was ready to return to society.
Furthermore, Solih said that Ali Manik’s children under the age of 17 were a factor in the decision to reduce his sentence. He went on to add that based on the information he had gathered, Ali Manik was determined to be someone who would benefit society.
He stated that the decision to reduce Ali Manik’s sentence to three months was determined based on this information.