The Criminal Court yesterday (January 2) extended the pretrial detention period of Abdulla Javid, son-in-law of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, following his arrest in early December.
Criminal Court Spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Manik today told Minivan News that the suspect’s detention period had been extended by an additional 15 days. Manik said he could not confirm any other details of the case at present.
Abdull Javid was arrested on December 4, 2012. Police have not officially confirmed the charges against him.
Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said today that authorities would be giving information related to its investigations into the murder of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali only during press conferences held for the specific purpose.
Following the suspect’s detention, the MDP last month accused the Maldives Police Service of attempting to pin Afrasheem’s murder on members of the opposition party rather than going after those guilty of the crime. The MDP has continued to call for Javid’s release since.
Javid had unsuccessfully attempted to appeal the first extension of his detention at the High Court.
A lower court ruling at the time stated that Javid had been brought under police custody in connection with the murder of Ungoofaaru Constituency MP Dr Afrasheem. However, the High Court supported the lower court’s decision to hold Javid in detention for the investigation of the case on the grounds that police had obtained a phone call recording as evidence.
The court ruled that the phone call was an adequate evidence to suspect someone of a crime, referring to the constitution’s article that allows holding persons accused of a crime at pretrial detention.
Dr Afrasheem was killed on October 1. His wife discovered the body lying on the staircase of their home.
He was elected to parliament in 2009 as a member of the then-opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP). Following the opposition’s split, Afrasheem sided with the PPM, established by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Considered an Islamic moderate, Dr Afrasheem took outspoken and controversial positions on issues such as the permissibility of playing music, and praying next to the deceased.
During the investigation of the Mp’s murder, police have offered a reward of MVR500,000 for anyone providing substantial information on the case.