Parliament expresses concern over delay in trials, one year since attempt on Nasheed’s life

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed gestures as he speaks during a press conference.

Parliament has expressed concern over the delay in the trials of the suspects in the assassination attempt against Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, as Maldives marks one year to one of the worst terror attacks to take place on Maldivian soil. 

A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence, and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, 2021, just as Nasheed exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds.   

In a statement on Friday, the Parliament described May 6, 2021 as a dark day in Maldivian history. 

The Parliament described the attack as not just an attack against Nasheed, but also the state, the entire Maldivian community, and the rule of law and democratic institutions. 

“It was a dangerous attack that could have sent shockwaves through the economy the Maldivians built up, and completely change the good reputation of the state, and the good perception towards Maldives held by people across the world,” said the Parliament in the statement. 

The Parliament said that despite the initial progress in the police investigation, it was worrying that only those accused of executing the attack have been arrested, while sponsors, mentors, handlers, and others who enabled and financed the attack have not been identified. 

“Delays in the trials of the accused, and the wider investigation, undermine President 

Nasheed's ability to carry out his duties as Speaker, and as leader of the largest political 

party, and impedes his passion for engaging with the people, forcing him to stay behind 

a tight security cordon,” said the Parliament. 

The Parliament said the delays also contribute to a climate of impunity, enabling co-conspirators of the attack to retreat into the shadows, where they continue to stalk society. 

The Parliament urged authorities to ensure a complete investigation is carried out, and everyone involved in the attack is brought to swift justice. 

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also issued a short statement via Twitter regarding the attack on Thursday morning, providing assurance of the steadfast commitment of the government to bring those responsible for the attack to justice. 

Nine suspects were charged in connection to the attack. However, only one,  Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, 26, who confessed to detonating the IED, was convicted. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison in December last year after he signed a plea deal with the state. 

The other eight defendants are: 

  • Mujaz Ahmed, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’  
  • Thahmeen Ahmed, Folheyma, GA. Kondey  
  • Ali Haisham, Nooreege, N. Manadhoo  
  • Is’haq, M. Kudhehige, K. Male’  
  • Fahumy Ali, Hudhuruvaage, GA. Vilingili  
  • Mohamed Nazim, Asareege, AA. Maalhos 
  • Abdulla Ali Manik, Bahaaruge, HA. Molhadhoo  
  • Mohamed Thasleem, Alanaasige, HA. Hoarafushi 

An additional suspect arrested in the case – Ahmed Fathih, Dunfiniufaa, L. Gan – was released due to insufficient evidence.