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Terrorism charges dismissed against MP Saud

He was charged over an alleged plot assassinate High Court judge Shujau Usman.



The criminal court dismissed Sunday terrorism charges raised against MP Saud Hussain and former education ministry official Ibrahim Haneef over an alleged plot assassinate High Court judge Shujau Usman.

Citing lack of evidence, the court decided not to proceed to trial and dismissed the “baseless” charge, the MP for Gaaf Alif Villigili tweeted.

It is the latest move by the courts to clear lawmakers who were put on trial during the previous administration. Several politicians and other high-profile figures have returned from exile or been released from prison since former president Abdulla Yameen’s heavy defeat in September’s election.

The charges against Saud were raised shortly after he defected to the opposition in July last year. After more than a year out of parliament, he was reinstated last month along with other defectors from the former ruling party who were deemed to have lost their seats.

Haneef, a former senior police executive, was arrested on the terrorism charge in April 2017 and released to house arrest more than a month later. He was accused of planning to hire a gang to assault and kill the high court judge.

Saud was also questioned by the police in early June last year. In late July, he was  arrested last along with MPs Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim and Mohamed Ameeth, who were also part of a breakaway group of lawmakers from the formerly ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.

Haneef’s arrest came shortly after Saud pledged support to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s reform efforts in early April.