Police send names of two suspects in Afrasheem murder case to PG’s Office

The Maldives Police Service has this week sent the case of two suspects arrested over the murder of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP and Religious Scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali to the Prosecutor General’s (PG’s) Office.

According to Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz’s twitter feed, files on the two suspects were sent to the PG’s Office yesterday.

The two suspects were later identified by the police as Hussain Humam Ahmed of Henveiru Lobby and Ali Shan of Henveiru Hicost.

Just last week, a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer was also reported to have been arrested in connection with the Afrasheem investigation.  However, the police and MNDF have yet to officially confirm the reports.

The Maldives Police Service has said that current policy when providing information regarding the investigation of Dr Afrasheem was to withhold all details from media until  official press conferences on the case were held.

At the last conference held on December 4, Commissioner Riyaz said that the murder of  Dr Afrasheem was well-planned, insisting the attack was politically motivated and funded.

Riyaz alleged that assassins were thought to have been offered MVR 4 million (US$260,000) for the attack.

In a presentation at the time, the police commissioner claimed that 11 suspects had been arrested in connection to the case so far – although three were later released.

He said that 200 items had been collected by police for use as forensic and digital evidence.

“Over 500 hours of CCTV footage have been analysed, more than 100 people have been interviewed and about 13,000 phone call recordings have been analysed out of which 12,000 were from one single tower,” Riyaz claimed at the time.

Afrasheem was killed on October 1. His wife discovered his body lying on the staircase of their home.

Dr Afrasheem was elected to parliament in 2009 as a member of the then-opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP). Following a split within the former opposition party, Afrasheem sided with the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), which was established by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Widely considered in the country 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.