Home Minister Sheikh Imran Abdulla criticised on state media Saturday night the release of a ruling party activist who was accused of assaulting a former state minister.
Ali Hashim ‘Smith’ was arrested last Wednesday after Ahmed Siddiq alleged he was assaulted by the Maldivian Democratic Party activist.
The criminal court remanded Smith to seven days in police custody but he was released a day later, prompting criticism over alleged political influence. It followed calls for his release by former president Mohamed Nasheed and youth minister Ahmed Mahloof among others. A small group of MDP activists also staged a protest.
“Maybe it could be said that it didn’t happened the best way,” Imran said on Television Maldives in response to a question about the incident.
Smith was released after the investigation was wrapped up, “however, I believe there are matters that must be looked into further,” he added.
According to Siddiq, a council member of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives, Smith assaulted him outside the criminal court, “drew blood” and threatened him in front of police officers. But other MDP activists at the scene disputed Siddiq’s version.
Imran, the leader of the Adhaalath Party, was appointed to the cabinet as part of the agreement that brought the MDP-led coalition to power. Ministerial appointees were divided among the four parties.
Photo of Smith with youth minister Mahloof from Twitter.