Court to review acquittal of man charged with air gun possession

Court to review acquittal of man charged with air gun possession
May 30 14:36 2016

The high court is to review the criminal court’s acquittal of a man accused of carrying a dangerous weapon. 

Inthif Rauf, brother of notorious gangster Azlif Rauf, was arrested on October 30 after the police claimed they had discovered a pistol at his home.

His arrest came amid a series of police raids for weapons in Malé in the wake of the September 28 blast on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat.

On May 18, the criminal court ruled in favour of Inthif, who said the pistol was a BB gun, a type of air gun, and not capable of causing harm.

The judge said the prosecution was unable to prove the gun was a “dangerous weapon” despite a report by the military’s ordinance and firearms unit that said the confiscated weapon could kill a human.

Carrying a dangerous weapon is punishable by a jail term between six months to a year.

Hisham Wajeeh, a spokesman at the PG office, confirmed Sunday that the appellate high court has accepted an appeal.

Credible sources have told The Maldives Independent that Inthif left the Maldives upon his release from custody.

Inthif was arrested along with his wife, who was released without charges in December.

Inthif’s brother Aleef Rauf was meanwhile arrested earlier this month on suspicion of threatening the brother of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan. He remains under house arrest. 

The pair’s older brother, Aalif Rauf, 29, was also arrested along with a second suspect on April 5, days after the police’s admission that Rilwan was abducted from outside his apartment building in Hulhumalé on August 8, 2014. A red car owned by Aalif is suspected to have been used in the abduction, police said.

The police also confirmed last month that several young men with the Kuda Henveiru gang – led by Aalif – had followed Rilwan for over two hours on the night he went missing.

The chief suspect, Mohamed Suaid, was arrested in September of 2014, but was released by the criminal court a few weeks later.

Suaid left the Maldives in January 2015 with both Aalif and Aleef’s brother Azlif Rauf, a former soldier who was arrested in connection with the 2012 brutal murder of MP Afrasheem Ali. Azlif was never charged with the killing.

Suaid and Azlif’s family say the pair died in battle in the Syrian civil war last year, but the claim has been disputed by opposition politicians.

Additional writing and reporting by Shafaa Hameed.