Four soldiers fired and placed under investigation

Four soldiers fired and placed under investigation
August 23 23:00 2016

Four soldiers arrested on charges of conspiring to overthrow President Abdulla Yameen’s administration have been dismissed, the Maldives Independent understands.

Some eight soldiers were detained at the military barracks earlier this month on charges of canvassing for support within the Maldives National Defence Forces for Yameen’s ouster, according to new information from military sources.

The four were fired on charges on violating military conduct on Thursday. Some had their phones confiscated and were placed under investigation.

Ismail Ali, the police spokesman, confirmed that the police are investigating soldiers, but declined to comment on the charges against them.

An MNDF spokesman declined to comment immediately.

Three policemen also had their phones seized and questioned over the alleged plot, sources have said. Ismail denied the claim, but said: “It would be hard to say that no policeman is being investigated on any charge, because some could be under investigated on disciplinary charges.”

The four who were dismissed include two brothers, Mohamed Fawwaz, 30 years, and Abdul Fa’thah, 28 years, and two others identified only as Naushad and Shah.

Fa’thah had worked as a bodyguard to government officials, while the other three were part of the elite special forces.

Fawwaz had been briefly detained last year in the aftermath of a blast on Yameen’s speedboat that the government said was an assassination plot.

Then Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and several soldiers have been convicted of terrorism over the boat blast.

The army has meanwhile barred officers from meeting politicians, including ministers, and foreigners without permission.

In a statement issued on August 10, soldiers were instructed not meet or engage in social events with “government ministers, political appointees by the president, members of the parliament, candidates seeking public office, activists of political parties, diplomats, members of armed forces of foreign countries, and other foreign parties without being granted prior permission from a senior military official.”

Yameen has instigated a series of purges of the security forces in his three-year tenure. In November 2013, days after assuming office, he fired nine senior ranking officers on charges of sowing discord.