Attacker may have been released on rehabilitation program

One of the men charged with attacking the manager of Habib Bank, Mohamed Anjul Jameel, was previously imprisoned but may have recently been transferred to house arrest under the rehabilitation programme, according to reports today.

The 56 year-old was stabbed when four men broke into his apartment on the sixth floor of Machangolhi Uraha in Male’. On his release from hospital, Jameel said he was leaving the Maldives, and vowed never to return.

Daily newspaper Haveeru cited an official from the Department for Penitentiary and Rehabilitaion Service (DPRS) as claiming that 20 year-old Abdulla Aseel, of Galolhu Coralsea, had been released on the 27th of February.

The newspaper reported that Aseel had been sentenced for possession of three grams of drugs, while a person in authority familiar with the matter confirmed to Minivan News that Aseel had been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

However State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Adil said the claims made in Haveeru were yet to be confirmed.

Mohamed Zuhair, Press Secretary for the President’s Office, also said the government had yet to verify the claims.

Managing Director of the DPRS, Mohamed Rasheed, responded to enquiries from Minivan News but said he would only answer questions during office hours.

Zuhair acknowledged that the government had transferred many prisoners to house arrest.

”In the first round we transferred 200 inmates, and in the second round 119 inmates,” he said, explaining that ”it would be unfair for the people to think that everyone transferred to house arrest will be engaging in crimes.”

He explained that ”if a woman commits a crime, that doesn’t mean you can think that women will commit crimes.”

Another of the three men arrested for the stabbing of the bank manager, Ali Shuaib, was also arrested last year in connection with a murder case last year. Shuaib was investigated over the killing of a Bangladeshi man by hitting him with a three-foot long log, but he was acquitted.