Presidential affairs minister resigns

Presidential affairs minister resigns
October 22 16:56 2015

President’s Office Minister Mohamed Hussain Shareef ‘Mundhu’ has resigned after being asked to stay home in an apparent purge of the vice president’s supporters from President Abdulla Yameen’s administration.

The reasons for Shareef’s resignation is unclear. He was not responding to calls at the time of going to press.

The president’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Muaz Ali, was not available for comment.

Shareef returned to the Maldives last night after attending an investment forum in Beijing. He had accompanied Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, an apparent suspect into an alleged assassination attempt on Yameen.

The police seized CCTV footage from two of Adeeb’s residences in Malé last night as part of the inquiry into an explosion on Yameen’s speedboat on September 28.

Home Minister Umar Naseer has said that a bomb targeting Yameen caused the explosion on the boat. Sri Lankan forensic experts have confirmed that the blast was caused by an explosive device, he said.

The seizure of security camera footage from the home of Adeeb’s second wife last night was the first direct move against the vice president in the ongoing investigation.

Several senior officials seen as the vice president’s loyalists have been dismissed in the past two weeks.

Suspicion had been cast on Adeeb following the detention of his bodyguard at the military barracks and police raids on the homes of his close associates last week.

Adeeb has delayed his arrival in Malé from China and is currently in Singapore, according to multiple credible sources.

The police chief Hussein Waheed and the majority leader of parliament, MP Ahmed Nihan, who are both seen as Adeeb’s allies, abruptly departed the Maldives last night, in a sign that the power struggle between Adeeb and Yameen is intensifying.

Last week, the police raided the home of an influential businessman related to Adeeb. The court warrant authorising the raid on the home of Hamid Ismail was issued in connection to the blast on the “Finifenma” speedboat.

It authorised the seizure of CCTV camera footage and stated that police intelligence have learned of efforts to erase the footage and “destroy other evidence”.

The police also raided the apartment of Abdulla Ziyath, the managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporations (MMPRC) last week and searched the MMPRC office on Friday night.

Ziyath has been summoned to the police three times this week for questioning.

Adeeb has meanwhile vowed to return to the Maldives, saying the “truth will be known” once a special inquiry commission completes its investigation. The date of his return is not clear.

Three soldiers have been arrested over the blast and Colonel Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz, the head of the unit of military bodyguards, is also being held at the military headquarters.

Defence Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel was also sacked last week.

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