Sniper was engaged to assassinate President: Umar Naseer

Sniper was engaged to assassinate President: Umar Naseer

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Home Minister and the chair of the National Inquiry Commission Umar Naseer has stated that the investigations carried out by the Commission has shown that a sniper from Sri Lanka was specifically brought into assassinate the President.

He made the revelation speaking in a press conference held yesterday in the President’s Office.

Minister Umar said that some had attempted to dismiss the sniper case, calling it a fabrication. He said that the case was a serious one and that the sniper was fully aware of the movements and full itinerary of the President. Minister Umar alleged that the sniper was brought in as a contingency measure to finish the President, after the speedboat explosion had failed to go ahead as planned. He added that a decision on prosecuting the case is yet to be made, but added that the investigation was still on going.

Speaking on the missing weaponry, later found in Hinbalhidhoo, Minister Umar said that the case had been forwarded to prosecution.

“Two forms of weapons were found in Hinbalhidhoo, guns and bullets and explosives. The source of the lost weapons and IED on the speedboat has been identified. Therefore this case is connected to the speedboat explosion,” he said.

On that note, Minister Umar added that former Vice president Ahmed Adeeb had conspired to detonate a bomb in Malé while the May Day rally was ongoing by the opposition. Both IED’s were attributed to the sae source, Minister Umar stressed.

He said that Adeeb's case was sent to the Prosecutor General (PG) office by the police, and they were guided on how to carry out the investigations and what aspects to look in to. Umar also said that a lot of evidences were hard to track due to the fact that Adeeb was not arrested several days after the "Finifenama" blast. He also said that Adeeb has relentlessly worked to bury evidence after he realized that the investigation was directed towards him. Minister Umar however, stressed that the State had enough evidence to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt that Adeeb had engineered the speedboat explosion.

Minister Umar confirmed that so far only eight individuals are under custody, adding that some had been released due to lack of evidence. He noted that those individuals released were done so not on a permanent basis, but will not be declared fully free until the case fully concludes.

He said that since the act was carried out to assassinate the President, the charges raised on Adeeb and other arrestees would be that of terrorism, and that enough evidence has been sent to the PG office, and the evidence is expected to be proven in court. He added that the now deposed Vice President was implicit in both preparing, giving order to prepare the IED for the two cases and therefore implicitly involved in an act of terror.

Minister Umar said that the armory of the nation had always been maintained in a proper manner, adding that this was the first time arms had gone missing from the armory. He added that the number of missing arms was relatively low and that this had occurred only due to the treason against the state by those who were in charge of looking after the depot.

“Most of the missing weapons were explosive. They can be dismantled and assembled over a period of time. If those in charge of maintaining the depot had shirked their responsibilities and duties this can occur,” he said.

He noted that they have taken steps to rectify the problem as soon as they were informed that weapons were removed from the depot.
Minister Umar said that Adeeb had moved ahead with his plan to assassinate the President as he stood to gain most from the death of the President.