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Ex-colonel completes prison term

Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz served more than two years on obstruction charges in connection with an explosion on the president’s speedboat.

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A former colonel has been released from prison after serving more than two years on obstruction charges in connection with an explosion on the president’s speedboat in September 2015.

Maldives Correctional Service confirmed Ahmed ‘Papa’ Fayaz’s release from Maafushi prison on Monday.

Fayaz was accused of refusing to let police officers examine the scene of the explosion and ordering two soldiers to tamper with evidence.

President Abdulla Yameen escaped unhurt from the explosion, but his wife and two aides sustained minor injuries. His former vice president Ahmed Adeeb was found guilty of orchestrating the alleged assassination plot and handed a 15-year jail term in June 2016.

The Finifenma blast set off a crisis that saw the impeachment of Yameen’s deputy and a purge of the cabinet and security forces.

Fayaz was in charge of the armoury, the explosives department and the special protection group, the elite unit of military bodyguards. He was later demoted to captain.

According to the prosecution, he ordered explosives experts Moosa Zameer and Ahmed Thiham to get rid of evidence before police investigators went on the speedboat.

The soldiers spent four months and 24 days in prison on a misdemeanour charge of obstructing justice.

Adeeb’s military bodyguards, Hassan Rikaz and Ahmed Amir, were meanwhile found guilty of planting a bomb on the speedboat, and handed 10-year prison terms. A third explosives experts testified to making two bombs on Adeeb’s orders but was granted witness protection.

Along with Adeeb, Fayaz was also charged with terrorism over a weapons cache that was discovered submerged on a reef.

The terror trial, dismissed as a “farce” by the former vice president’s lawyers, remains stalled.

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