Despite uncertainty, Vice President vows to return to the Maldives

Despite uncertainty, Vice President vows to return to the Maldives
October 17 23:00 2015

Despite President Abdulla Yameen’s apparent suspicion of his deputy’s involvement in an explosion on his speedboat, Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has vowed to return to the Maldives this week.

“I am not one to flee. Nothing can prevent my return,” Adeeb told The Maldives Independent over a brief phone call tonight. He is currently in China on official business.

The alleged assassination attempt on September 28 has deepened the Maldives’ political crisis with a shakeup of the security forces and an apparent purge of Adeeb’s supporters from top government posts.

On the apparent targeting of his associates, Adeeb reiterated comments made to the popular daily Haveeru earlier in the day, and said the “truth will be known” once a special inquiry commission finishes its investigation.

The commission made up of six high-ranking police and military officers is co-chaired by Yameen and the home minister.

Adeeb departed for China on Tuesday to attend a conference hosted by the Chinese Communist Party and to inaugurate the government’s long-anticipated investment forum in Beijing.

Yameen was scheduled to deliver a keynote speech on October 19, but had sent Adeeb in his stead.

The Maldives Independent was not able to clarify the exact date of the vice president’s arrival in the Maldives.

An array of factors has shaped the perception that Adeeb is a suspect: the homes of two of his close associates were raided, one of his bodyguards is under administrative detention, and his supporters are clashing acrimoniously with Yameen loyalists on social media.

Local media report tonight that the passport of Abdulla Ziyath, the managing director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), has been withheld and he is to be summoned to the police tomorrow.

Soldiers and police officers raided the MMPRC offices last night, two days after a raid on Ziyath’s apartment.

It emerged today that one of Adeeb’s former bodyguards, Ahmed Amir, is being held under administrative detention at the military barracks at Kalhuthukala Koshi. He was suspended along with a second bodyguard who was watching Adeeb on the eve of the explosion.

Hussein Rikaz, however, has begun to report to work now, according to a credible source.

One Yameen loyalist has filed a complaint with the police alleging that an Adeeb supporter had issued a death threat against him.

The former head of the Maldives National Defence Force’s (MNDF) special protection group, Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz, is being held in administrative detention. Fayaz was dismissed from his post in the wake of the blast. The police intelligence chief has also been replaced.

Defence Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel was sacked last week and three soldiers have been arrested.

A multi-national team of forensic experts have inspected the speedboat, but their findings have not been made public yet.