Maldives seeks to transfer suspect from Sri Lanka

Abdulla Luthufee, the leader behind the 1988 coup attack on Maldives has not been transferred back to Maldives from Sri Lanka due to pending documentations from the Sri Lankan authorities, Maldives Police Service has stated, according to Avas Online.

Luthufee was allowed to travel to Sri Lanka on 16th January 2010 for medical purposes during former president Mohamed Nasheed’s administration. However, he went into hiding during the trip and has been residing in Sri Lanka for the past nine years as a fugitive.

In a recent development, Luthufee voluntarily presented himself to the Maldivian Embassy in Sri Lanka on 1st May 2019, after which he has been residing at the embassy until now. Authorities did not disclose his presence at the embassy until last Monday, after rumors that the embassy was harboring Luthufee made its rounds on social media, prompting public criticism on the matter.

The police on Tuesday stated that the authority was making arrangements to transfer Luthufee back to Maldives within 72 hours. However, on Thursday night, Maldives Police Service revealed that Luthufee’s transfer has been delayed as the required documentation is still incomplete. However, as soon as the necessary documents are in place, Luthufee will be brought back to Maldives and handed over to Maldives Correctional Services, assured the police.

Assisted by armed foreign mercenaries, Luthufee led the attacks on Maldives on 3rd November 1988 that killed 19 Maldivians. Charged and convicted for treason, Luthufee received the death penalty for his crimes. However, then President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom lightened his sentence to life imprisonment. If Luthufee had not fled the country in 2010, he would have completed his sentence by 2014.


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