A Maldives court has convicted the country’s former vice president of masterminding a plot to kill the president by exploding a bomb on his speedboat last year and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Ahmed Adeeb must serve a total of 25 years after the same criminal court sentenced him earlier this week to ten years for possessing firearms. Two of his military body guards were given ten years each for being part of the plot.
Adeeb is the fourth high profile politician to be jailed on terrorism charges since Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected president in 2013. The South Asian country is best known for its luxury island resorts.
Adeeb’s lawyers said the court had barred them from speaking on the fairness of the trial even though they were allowed little time to prepare their defence. However they will appeal, lawyer Moosa Siraj said. Adeeb still faces two more charges against him - abuse of authority and corruption.
Mr Gayoom escaped unhurt in the September blast while he was travelling by boat from the airport to the capital of this archipelago state. But his wife, an aide and bodyguard were wounded.
The government stood by its claim that the mysterious blast was an assassination attempt even though FBI investigators concluded they saw no evidence of a bomb blast.
Yameen appointed Adeeb, his once trusted protégé, as vice president, last July after sacking his running mate in the 2013 election.
However, Adeeb became a suspect immediately after the blast and days later he was arrested.