Abdulla Lutfi, the orchestrator of the failed coup attempt on November 3, 1988, has been released following the completion of his sentence. Initially sentenced to death by the High Court for the attack by fighters of the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), his punishment was later commuted to life imprisonment or 25 years by then-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
On April 25, Lutfi finished his term related to the coup attempt, subsequently beginning a sentence for fleeing the country. This latter sentence concluded recently. Lutfi, who departed the Maldives on January 16, 2010, for medical treatment, returned on July 9, 2019, after being discovered at the Maldives embassy in Sri Lanka.
Initially evading authorities for nine years, six months, and three days, Lutfi sought refuge at the embassy following an operation by Sri Lankan authorities related to the Easter attacks. Upon his return, he faced charges for escaping from a detention center and was sentenced to seven months and six days in prison on March 10, 2021, after pleading guilty.
During the 1988 coup, Lutfi, armed with the Tamil Tigers, entered the homes of some cabinet ministers with firearms. Arrested at sea with the help of Indian troops while attempting to flee on the hijacked ship MV Progress Light, he and accomplice Sagar Ahmed Nasir were responsible for the deaths of eight soldiers and 11 civilians during the attack. Nasir, who also received a 25-year sentence, has been free for several years after completing his term.