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Maldives frees Sri Lankan accused of plotting to kill Yameen

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The Maldives has freed a Sri Lankan accused of plotting to kill former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Maldives, Major General (Rtd) A.B. Thoradeniya told the Colombo Gazette that Lahiru Madhushanka Manikkandura was freed today and he is expected to return to Sri Lanka tomorrow.

He said that Manikkandura was freed owing to lack of evidence.

Minister Faiszer Musthapha had recently met Manikkandura in prison.

Musthapha met Manikkandura while he was in the Maldives for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, over the weekend.

Sri Lanka sought the release of the detainee, saying he had been falsely accused in the assassination plot.

Recently, Amnesty International said that the Sri Lankan driver, who has languished in prison in the Maldives for three years accused of involvement in a dramatic plot to assassinate the island’s former President, has been denied a fair trial and subjected to vicious police beatings that may amount to torture.

Manikkandura arrived in the Maldives to seek a business opportunity in 2015, and suddenly found himself accused of being a highly trained sniper trying to kill President Abdulla Yameen.

His family and lawyer allege he has since been repeatedly denied access to legal representation, and while in custody has been subject to ill-treatment, including prolonged solitary confinement and beatings with cables that caused him to temporarily lose hearing in one ear. 

Minister Musthapha had engaged with the Attorney General and the Home Ministry, together with the High Commissioner, to secure Manikkandura’s release following due process. Over the weekend, Minister Musthapha visited Manikkandura at the high security Maafushi prison and spent time with him, discussing the progress of his case.

As a representative of President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Musthapha said in a statement that discussions with the relevant authorities in the Maldives had been positive and would lead to the release of the young man. 

(Colombo Gazette)

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