Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has been charged with terrorism on suspicion of carrying a pistol, the prosecutor general’s office has said.
Adeeb is to be prosecuted under the 1990 Anti Terrorism Act, as the alleged offence was committed before the new terror law was passed in early November.
The former vice president, who was first arrested over an explosion on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat, is now facing a variety of charges, including attempted murder, criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The terror charges are the first to reach the criminal court. The police said members of the public have claimed Adeeb carried a pistol at his apartment.
Lawyers however dismissed the claim, saying police never confiscated weapons from Adeeb’s residences despite multiple raids.
The charge was filed by new Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham, a day after she took office. Her predecessor Muhuthaz Muhsin was removed in a sudden vote after he refused to file weapons charges against Adeeb.
If found guilty, the former vice president faces 10 years in prison.
Adeeb’s arrest has plunged the Maldives into fresh political turmoil. The home ministry claims he masterminded the September 28 explosion on Yameen’s boat.
His supporters have announced they will join the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s upcoming protest on Friday. The protest is aimed at pressuring Yameen into releasing political prisoners, including former President Mohamed Nasheed and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.
Adeeb was impeached on November 5.