The Criminal Court ordered the release of 2007 Sultan Park bombing suspect Mohamed Ameen from police custody on Thursday.
Ameen is said to be a member of the extremist group Jama’athul Muslimeen, the leader of whom died in a suicide attack on the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence in 2009.
The suspect was taken to the court for an extension of detention after the two-month detention previously warranted by the court expired, according to Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef.
Haneef noted that the suspect had to be released as the court did not issue the extension.
However, he refrained from commenting on why the court released the alleged bomber.
Ameen was one of the Interpol’s most wanted and was not apprehended until October 2011 following a combined operation by Maldivian and Sri Lankan authorities.
The Criminal Court’s spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Manik told Minivan News that would clarify the reasons for Ameen’s release but had not responded at the time of press.
Local newspaer Haveeru meanwhile reported that the suspect was released by the court “on the condition that he not get involved in any further terrorist activities, and not leave the country.”
The 27 year-old had reportedly fled the Maldives before the bombing took place on September 29, 2007. The bomb blast from a homemade IED (improvised explosive device) was the first bombing incident in the country.
The bomb blast at Sultan Park – a major tourist attraction in the capital located in front of the Islamic Centre – was triggered using a mobile phone and washing machine motor attached to a gas cylinder.
The attack injured 12 tourists, including eight from China, two from Britain and two from Japan. The incident received widespread publicity around the world, damaging the country’s image as a luxury tourism destination.
The attack meanwhile prompted the authorities to declare a state of high alert and arrest 12 suspects within 48 hours.
Terrorism charges were filed against 16 suspects, including 10 who had fled the country.
In addition to Mohamed Ameen, Interpol red notices were issued for Hussain Simaad, 25, of Baa atoll Dharavandhoo; Hassan Riyaz, 21, of Haa Dhaalu atoll Nellaidhoo; Mohamed Imad, 27, of Baa atoll Dharavandhoo; Abdul Latheef Ibrahim, 25, of Laamu atoll Kalhaidhoo; Mohamed Iqbal, 42 of Maafannu Naseemee Manzil; Moosa Manik, 20, of Seenu atoll Hithadhoo; Hassan Yoosuf, 24, of Laamu atoll Kalaidhoo; Ali Shameem, 25 of Shaviyani atoll Komandoo; and Ibrahim Maslamath of Maafannu Gold Ring.
Three men – Mohamed Sobah, 19, Moosa Inaz, 21, and Ahmed Naseer, 20 – were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in December 2007 after they confessed to the crime.
In August 2010, the former administration commuted the sentences of Ahmed Naseer and Mohamed Sobah from incarceration to three year suspended sentences under observation.