MP and councillor charged over February 8 arson attacks not present for court hearing

An MP and a Addu City Councillor both facing charges over alleged involvement in a series of arson attacks on February 8 this year did not attend a Criminal Court hearing of their cases today.

MP Mohamed Rasheed and Addu City Councillor Ahmed Mirzad were reported not in attendance during today’s court hearing as an official chit could not be delivered to either of the men, according to the Sun Online news service.

The two men are among 40 suspects currently facing trial over allegations of involvement in attacks on several state buildings during unrest and violent clashes with authorities that occurred in the country’s second city on February 8.

Local media has said that 32 of these suspects were in attendance for the trail today,with Sun reporting that hearings within the 12ft by 13ft court room could only be held three suspects at the time.

A court official told Sun Online that the majority of the eight suspects who had failed to attend today’s trial had not reportedly received their respective chits – mostly as a result of working abroad.