Presidential aides arrested over Maldives boat explosion

Two aides of Maldives President arrested on Tuesday in connection with explosion on boat last month, with authorities now treating incident as assassination attempt rather than mechanical failure

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Officials carry an injured woman off the speed boat of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen after an explosion on board, in Male, Maldives, on Sept. 28, 2015

Two presidential security officers were arrested on Tuesday in connection with a blast on the boat of Maldives President Abdullah Yameen four weeks ago.

Mohamed Hussain Shareef, minister at the President’s Office, said investigators subsequently ruled out mechanical failure.

Not mentioning their specific alleged role in the blast, Shareef added that both suspects had access to the boat “in the line of their duty.”

The president escaped unscathed from the blast, which took place just over a week ago as he was returning to the his country from the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

However, his wife suffered minor injuries and three people on the boat were hospitalised.

President Yameen’s tenure has been controversial since he came to power in 2013.

Controversy has been fuelled by the speedy trial and imprisonment for 13 years of his defeated predecessor Mohamed Nasheed earlier this year on terrorism charges.

Nasheed’s trial received international criticism and a UN working group found that it was not fair and demanded his immediate release.

While the Maldives government insists that Nasheed was convicted of "an offence of the utmost seriousness" Nasheed's legal team still argue that he has been jailed to prevent him taking part in the 2018 election.

TRTWorld and agencies