Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Deputy Parliament Group Leader MP Ali Waheed has called on the state to exhume the body of murdered scholar and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in order to conduct a post mortem.
Referring to the MP’s murder last year as the “most serious crime ever committed in the Maldives”, Waheed said that various allegations and rumours were being spread to create confusion and suspicion in society about the case.
He said that these allegations had prominently focused on the involvement of certain senior politicians in the crime, including the MDP’s own Chairperson MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik and PPM presidential candidate, MP Abdullah Yameen.
Waheed stated that it was therefore of utmost importance to conduct a post mortem in order to bring an end to this speculation and allegations over the case, while ascertaining the facts around Dr Afrasheem’s murder.
Prior to Waheed’s comments, MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik also spoke of the importance of clarifying facts regarding Afrasheem’s murder.
Echoing comments previously raised by former President Mohamed Nasheed at a party rally, Moosa spoke of the need to verify if there was any truth in information that individuals suspected of involvement in the murder had fled the country on the day of the attack.
He further questioned why street surveillance cameras installed by the police had not been in operation on the night of the murder.
MDP MP Mohamed Riyaz also spoke of the allegations that Sudanese nationals may have had involvement in the crime, while stressing the importance of verifying the truth behind claims that Afrasheem had been summoned to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs shortly before his murder.
PPM MP Ahmed Nihan was not responding to calls today from Minivan News today. Meanwhile, Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Parliamentary Group Leader of the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), said he was unavailable for comment at time of press.
Maldives Police Services announced in October 2012 that the FBI were extending assistance in the investigation of the MPs murder.
Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz later stated in a press conference held in December 2012 that the murder of Afrasheem had been carried out with a political motive, and that the culprits were to be paid MVR 4 million (US$ 260,000).
Riyaz had at the time dismissed claims that the murder was linked to religious fundamentalists, stating “no evidence has been gathered which suggests this murder had a religious motive.”
The main murder suspect identified by the police investigation into the attack, Hussain Humam, initially denied charges. He later confessed to the crime at a hearing held in May.
At the hearing, state prosecutors read out a statement which was said to have been given by Humam at one of the initial hearings. The statement claimed that son-in-law of ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, Abdulla ‘Jaa’ Javid, had offered to pay him MVR 4 million for the murder of MP Afrasheem.
In the last hearing held in early June, Humam once again retracted his confession, claiming that he had been coerced into confession by police.
Humam’s father has also written to the Criminal Court and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives alleging police of conducting psychological abuse against the suspect and exerting coercion to confess to a crime he did not commit.
Religious scholar and MP Dr. Afrasheem Ali was found brutally murdered in the early hours of October 2, 2012 and was buried at a state funeral after Asr prayers on the same day.