A man sentenced for six years for charges of terrorism relating to the Himandhoo incident escaped yesterday as he was being transferred from the court to Malé Prison.
Spokesperson for the Juvenile Court Zaeema Nasheed identified the man as Hussein Nishan, 18, of Roze Hose in Himandhoo of North Ari Atoll.
Zaeema said that the man escaped by the time he was transferred to Male’ prison by a court officer from the Juvenile Court yesterday around 3:00pm.
”A court officer took him to the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Service (DPRS) and the department requested a court officer to take him to Male’ jail,” she said. ”It is the responsibility of the DPRS to take prisoners to the place where they are to be kept.”
She said Nishan fled on a motor-bike which stopped near Galolhu Male’ Hiya.
”The court officer immediately informed us about the incident,” Zaeema said, adding the department “immediately informed the police.”
She said the court officer did not manage to see the registration number of the motor bike.
Zaeema said there had several recent cases where prisoners had escaped custody, but noted that this was the most recent incident.
”We do not have a vehicle at the court [to transfer prisoners,” she said, ”and we have very low security procedures.”
She said Nishan was charged for terrorism in 2007 for attacking the Armed Forces of Maldives in Himandhoo when he was only 16 years old.
”The case was sent to the court by the Prosecutor General’s office on 24 July 2008.”
A source in DPRS told Minivan News that the court officer went with Nishan to DPRS around 4:00pm yesterday.
”We told him to transfer Nishan to Male’ Jail,” he said, ”and when we called after a while to check where he was, Niham said that the man escaped.”
He added that Nishan had cooperated during the trial.
Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed the case was reported to the police yesterday afternoon.
Shiyam said Nishan had not yet been found and added that the police are searching for him.
Spokesperson for the DRPS Moosa Rameez did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.
President Mohamed Nasheed has previously vowed to the people of Himandhoo that the government will grant clemency to Himandhoo inmates convicted for terrorism.