A man armed with a knife and a hammer broke into the apartment adjacent to Home Minister Umar Naseer’s apartment last night.
Naseer, in a tweet at 7:02am today, stated the man had entered into the apartment next door by breaking a window and fled when a woman living in the apartment screamed, leaving behind a knife and a hammer.
The Maldives Police Services have confirmed a break-in had been reported to the police at around 7:30pm on Wednesday night. Police are treating the break in as a case of attempted robbery. The police have also confiscated the knife and hammer found at the scene for further investigation.
A person broken the window and entered the adjacent apartment with a knife. He escaped when a woman screamed. Left a knife & a hammer.
— Umar Naseer (@UmarNaseerPPM) March 12, 2015
The break-in comes amidst shocking allegations of rifts within President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet. Recently dismissed Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim last week accused Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb of using rogue police officers to plant a pistol and three bullets in his apartment.
Nazim is currently in police custody standing trial for smuggling illegal weapons.
Adeeb had ordered Specialist Operations (SO) police officers to chop down all of Malé City’s Areca palms in October, he alleged. Nazim subsequently lodged a complaint with President Yameen, angering Adeeb, the former defence minister’s lawyers said in court on March 7.
Lawyers told the Criminal Court Adeeb threatened to “destroy” Nazim during a conference call with Naseer. The home minister had informed President Yameen of the threat at the time, he claimed.
Naseer declined to comment on the matter to local media.
Adeeb has hit back at the defence’s claims saying he was “shocked” by the “lies.”
Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Mahloof requested the People’s Majlis national security committee to investigate President Abdulla Yameen’s July 2014 decision to reduce the home minister’s powers.
Mahloof – recently expelled from ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – claimed President Yameen barred the home minister from initiating police investigations after he ordered the police to look into senior government officials using police platoons to commit criminal activities.
Article 16 of the Police Act allows the home minister to command individual police officers of any rank, and gives him powers equal to that of top police officials. However, the same article also states the president may limit these powers.
Newspaper Haveeru claimed that the presidential decision came after Naseer ordered police to investigate criminal accusations against Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.
Speaking on pro-government DhiTV on Tuesday, Naseer said if he could influence an ongoing trial, he would “meddle” in the illegal weapons smuggling charge against Nazim.
But “trials must run their course,” he said, noting President Yameen’s policy was not to interfere in the judiciary.
“I’d like to tell Nazim’s supporters and his family, there are three stages in any trial. It doesn’t end with the Criminal Court,” he said.
He described Nazim as a very close friend and “a national hero” who had made invaluable services to the nation during a time of “immense difficulty.”
“I pray for justice for Nazim,” he said.
Nazim’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed yesterday asked the Criminal Court to summon Naseer as a witness in the illegal weapons trial to prove Adeeb had threatened the former defence minister.
State prosecutors at yesterday’s hearing claimed documents in a pen drive confiscated along with the weapons indicated Nazim was planning to attack President Yameen, Adeeb and Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed.
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