Rilwan and Yameen’s murder: Ahandhu, released from custody, gets MoniCon tag

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Ismail Abdul Raheem (Isu), 30; Ahmed Muaz (Gut Mua), 40; and Ahmed Ismail (Ahandhu), 39. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

Ahmed Ismail (Buru Ahandhu), 39, Ma. Faagafilage, K. Male’, who has been charged in connection to the 2014 abduction and murder of a reporter and 2017 murder of a blogger that was recently released from custody, was affixed an electronic tag for monitoring on Friday night.

Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, 28, a journalist who worked for Minivan News (later renamed Maldives Independent), was last seen on August 8, 2014. He is believed to have been abducted and murdered.

Meanwhile, Yameen Rasheed, 29, a blogger and rights activist, was stabbed to death in the stairwell of his residence in Male’ City, M. Spatula, on April 23, 2017.

Ahandhu and two other suspects were arrested in connection to both cases on June 26, 2022. 

Ahandhu, who was jailed pending the outcome of his trial, was granted conditional release by the Criminal Court during a hearing held behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Sun has learned an electronic tag was affixed on his leg on Friday night as per the conditions of his release.

Those who have been affixed tags are barred from leaving their homes at certain hours, traveling outside of Male’ or abroad without prior permission and are also banned from visiting certain places. Police will have the right to monitor their movements under this arrangement.

As per the Anti-Terrorism Act, tags require to be ordered by the High Court. Police can request for such an order, after seeking approval from the Home Minister.

Ahandhu is charged with two offenses; conspiring an act of terrorism and aiding in an act of terrorism. According to PGO, he was pressed with the charge because he planned Rilwan’s murder, and had others murder him in accordance with the plan he made with his co-conspirators.

The two other suspects arrested alongside Ahandhu were Ahmed Muaz (Gut Mua), 40, Dhafthar no. RS8499, K. Male’ and Ismail Abdul Raheem (Isu), 30, M. Lagoon View, K. Male’. They both remain in custody.