Top military officers detained in boat blast probe

Top military officers detained in boat blast probe
October 17 18:26 2015

The former head of the military unit tasked with providing security to senior state officials and a former bodyguard to Vice President Ahmed Adeeb are under administrative detention, a reliable source has confirmed to The Maldives Independent.

Colonel Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz, the head of the Special Protection Group (SPG) was transferred to the post of Malé Area Command in the wake of an explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat on September 28. He has been stripped of his position and is now being held at the military headquarters at Bandaara Koshi.

It is unclear when Fayaz was first detained. While local media report that Fayaz is being held at the military barracks at Kalhuthukala Koshi, this paper’s source says he was transferred to the headquarters yesterday.

Adeeb’s bodyguard Ahmed Amir and Hussein Rikaz were suspended indefinitely in late September. Amir is being held at Kalhuthukala Koshi. A week has passed since he was detained.

Rikaz has begun to report to work now, according to the source. He works at the SPG”s administrative department.

An MNDF spokesperson declined to comment, but said administrative detentions occur in ongoing investigations.

Yameen escaped unhurt from the explosion. The government says it was an assassination attempt.

Meanwhile, three soldiers have been arrested in the boat blast probe. A six-member commission, comprising of six high-ranking military and police officers, are leading the inquiry.

Yameen and Home Minister Umar Naseer are heading the commission.

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

The police, meanwhile, conducted a series of raids this weekend on the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company and the homes of two of Adeeb’s associates.

Adeeb now appears to be a suspect in the probe, but government officials have reiterated that they are reluctant to point fingers until the inquiry is complete.

Defence Minister Moosa Ali Jaleel was sacked last week.

First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim, who was hurt in the blast remains hospitalized. A cabinet minister had initially described her injuries as minor.