Imran: PG says there isn’t any new evidence to appeal Satto’s acquittal

Ali Shan (Satto).

Home Minister Sheikh Imran Abdulla says that the Prosecutor General has informed him there isn’t any new evidence to appeal the acquittal of Ali Shan (Satto) – one of the two suspects tried for the 2012 murder of prominent politician and Islamic scholar Dr. Afrasheem Ali.

Dr. Afrasheem was murdered in the early hours of October 2, 2012 at the stairwell of his residence just as he returned home after appearing on a live TV show.

Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom), which conducted a fresh investigation into the case, ruled that Dr. Afrasheem’s murder had been a contract killing ordered by a local jihadist group run by Mohamed Mazeed (Dhafthar 471) and Samith Mohamed (Athireege, Th. Omadhoo).

It believes Azlif Rauf (H. Hilton), Hussain Human Ahmed (H. Lobby), Satto, and an unidentified minor to have actively participated in the murder, while several others had served as lookouts.

The police, which conducted the original investigation into the murder, had arrested three suspects; Satto, Humam and a minor.

The State did not pursue charges against the minor, while Satto and Humam were charged with premeditated murder. The court acquitted Satto due to lack of sufficient evidence, while Humam – who confessed his guilt but later retracted it claiming duress – was found guilty and sentenced to death in 2014.

The State did not appeal Satto’s acquittal, while Human lost his last bid to contest the death penalty after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the penalty in 2016.

Home Minister Imran, who was summoned for a ministerial questioning session at the Parliament this Tuesday, said that he asked the DDCom and the Prosecutor General’s Office for clarification regarding whether any arrest warrant or charges were required against any party in response to the DDCom’s investigative findings on two occasions.

He said that both the DDCom and Prosecutor General’s Office had responded that there weren’t any grounds to pursue any arrest or criminal charges.

“The Prosecutor General noted that there weren’t even any grounds to appeal Ali Shan (Satto)’s acquittal because there isn’t any new evidence to warrant an appeal,” said Imran.

Imran said that the police would provide its full cooperation for any arrest required in response to the DDCom’s investigative findings, but that the commission had yet to make any such request.

The President’s Office publicized DDCom’s investigative report on Dr. Afrasheem’s murder on Sunday, November 17.

Satto, who served as a supervisor at the Greater Male’ Industrial Zone Limited (GMIZ)’s Thilafushi site, was placed under suspension on Sunday, November 17, the same day the President’s Office publicized DDCom’s investigative report. He was dismissed from his post the next day.