Safari rape case: Two months, still no charges

Protesters hold an anti-rape rally in Male' City. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Aushan Ilyas)

Two months have passed since the police stated that it won't be long before charges were brought forward in the safari rape case that occurred in late June.

In a press conference two months ago, Deputy Commissioner of Police Abdul Mannaan Yoosuf said that the authorities had “sufficient evidence and that it won't be long before charges could be brought forward.”

The press conference on July 16, was taken part by DCP Mannaan, Station Chief Inspector Mariyam Azma, and Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Basheer. 

Not much was revealed from the press conference other than what was already well known. DCP Mannaan said that police were discussing in how to proceed with charges in the case with the Prosecutor General’s Office and that enough evidence was obtained for the charges to be brought forward. 

“I believe that we can bring charges forward. However, that will be decided by the PG. We are discussing the matter with the PG.” said DCP Mannaan.

Sun requested for the latest updates on the case from the police today. Police, in response, said that they were still in discussions with the PG over the completion of the necessary procedures in the case. When asked why it was taking such a long time, police media officials stated that this was something that will have to be clarified. 

How did the case unfold?

The case was lodged with police on June 26, 5:00. The case was reported after patrolling officers in Hulhumale’ questioned the alleged victim of the case and two other men near the Hulhumale’ Jetty area.

When the woman stated that she was sexually abused by the two men, the police arrested them. They were later released on the same day. 

One of those suspected in the case is the spouse of a parliamentarian of the governing MDP. This has led to many allegations of political influence hindering the investigation. Allegations of bribes offered to the alleged victim were also rumored. 

Deputy Commissioner of Police Abdul Mannaan Yoosuf at a press conference on July 16, 2020. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

Police have later stated that what happened on the safari remained unclear and that there were suspicions that the act was more than a case of rape. 

Police have also said that the release of the suspects brought no obstructions to the investigation and defended the actions of the police in the case. 

Conduct of the police in the case is the subject of inquiries by the Police Professional Standards Command, National Integrity Commission, and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives.