Eight policemen detained on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government have been sacked, their defence lawyer revealed Sunday night.
Over the past two days, the criminal court extended their remand detention for the second time, lawyer Nazim Sattar told the press.
Aside from terrorism charges over the alleged coup plot, the eight men are also accused of planning to violently confront on-duty police officers deployed to control unlawful gatherings.
The sacked officers, including Special Ops commanders and former SWAT team leader Saif Hussain, were arrested in February after President Abdulla Yameen invoked emergency powers and suspended constitutional rights.
The 45-day state of emergency was lifted after 11 high-profile detainees – including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, four lawmakers and the ex-police chief – were charged with terrorism and bribery over the alleged conspiracy to remove the president from office.
Yameen contends a shock Supreme Court ruling on February 1 – which effectively reinstated an opposition parliament majority and freed his jailed opponents ahead of elections in September – triggered a constitutional crisis and set in motion the failed coup d’etat.
Former Police Commissioner Ahmed Areef, who was sacked after he tried to execute the order, was accused of trying to incite unrest by making changes to police operations and bringing together handpicked individuals to confront police officers on duty.