Kulhudhuffushi campaign office arson suspect arrested from airport

Criminal Court. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

A man, believed to be the prime suspect in the torching of a campaign office in Kulhudhuffushi City last week, was arrested from the airport while attempting to flee overseas, according to the police.

The torching of the building took place on April 16, less than a week ahead of the recent parliamentary elections.

The police arrested a 31-year-old male in connection to the case on Thursday. He was taken before a judge at the Criminal Court for his remand hearing the next day.

Court documents reveal that the suspect was arrested from the Velana International Airport, while attempting to board a flight out of Maldives.

Police investigators said that he sought medical treatment for injuries – the nature of which wasn’t specified – in a medical facility in another island, despite there being a perfectly good hospital in Kulhudhuffushi.

Investigators also told the court that the suspect refused to honor a police summons, and was arrested from the airport while trying to flee overseas.

However, the suspect’s lawyer rejected the assertion that he his client attempted to flee overseas, saying that he had been travelling abroad to seek medical treatment for his child.

The defense also claimed he never received the police summons, was unaware one had been sent to his home, and that it was the man’s younger sibling who collected it.

Criminal Court judge Ali Adam, ordered the suspect to be remanded in a custodial jail for 10 days, citing adequate evidence.

The torching of the campaign office had come five days ahead of the tightly contested parliamentary elections on April 21, in which over 300 candidates ran for 93 seats in the Parliament.