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Fugitive Luthufee brought back to Maldives

The leader of an armed coup attempt to serve the rest of his life sentence.



Luthufee, 69, was serving a commuted death sentence when he absconded. – File photo

Fugitive coup conspirator Abdulla Luthufee has been brought back to the country to serve the reminder of his life sentence.

Luthufee, 69, who was serving a commuted death sentence for leading an armed coup attempt in 1988, escaped while on a medical visit to India in 2010.

The armed coup attempt of 1988 saw 19 Maldivians murdered, as mercenaries from a terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka attempted to take over the government.

Luthufee was captured after he surrendered himself at the Maldivian embassy on May 1. Since then, police said they were working with the Sri Lankan authorities to extradite him to the Maldives.

Luthufee’s flight, an inbound Emirates flight from Colombo, landed at Malé’s Velana International Airport on Tuesday night as the press waited outside to capture images. He was then brought to the capital, where the police officially handed him over to the Maldives Corrections Service to complete the remainder of his jail sentence.

According to local media, Luthufee had voluntarily walked into the Maldives embassy because he was concerned about being arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities, who had stepped up visa checks on foreigners following the Easter Sunday attacks.

Luthufee was initially sentenced to death but had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment as the Maldives has an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty. If he had served his sentence, as life sentences are defined to be a 25-year jail term, it would have expired in 2014.