Maldives Police Service (MPS) has released the names of three individuals who "actively participated" in the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed.
The statement released by police said three people were actively involved in the murder of Yameen Rasheed, who was found with multiple stab wounds near the staircase of his residence M. Spectular on April 23. The three are 25-year-old Ismail Rasheed, M. Thaaif, 21-year-old Ismail Haisham Rasheed, H. Annaarumaage, and 22-year-old Ahmed Zihan Ismail, M. Irasmikuge, all from capital Male’.
Police said all three have previous criminal records. Ismail Haisham Rasheed had served a prison sentence after being proven guilty of mugging using a weapon. Ismail Rasheed has a criminal record of gang violence, and using weapons for mugging.
While police arrested seven people in relation to the murder, they did not disclose any information about the remaining four.
Police said the special investigation team has been working to collect evidence since the murder of Yameen, found individuals suspected of involvement in the case and questioned them. They had analyzed over 1850 hours of CCTV footage and 40,000 photographs of people in the 20 – 40 age range, the statement read.
Police further said that they had sought the advice of experts and obtained databases of government agencies, and had identified those who planned the attack. The investigation is ongoing, they said.
Police said they are facing many difficulties in conducting the investigation due to many factors. These include speculation circulating on social media by those who have no connection to the murder. In addition some lawyers have made the investigation difficult, due to which one had been taken into police custody for investigation, the statement said.
Police said they had collected enough evidence to press charges against all those involved in the murder and that they are working to forward the case to the Prosecutor General’s office as swiftly as possible.
Yameen was found near the staircase of his home, M. Spectular in early hours of April 23. He was first discovered by a resident of the house.
Yameen succumbed to injuries later, while being treated at state-run Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.
According to reports, Yameen’s chest alone had 14 deep stab wounds.