Abdulla Luthfee, the key figure behind the 3 November 1988 coup attempt in the Maldives, has been released from prison after completing his sentence. Luthfee, initially sentenced to death for his role in the attack that involved armed militants from the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment—equivalent to 25 years—by then-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The 1988 attack, aimed at overthrowing the government, resulted in the deaths of 19 Maldivians, including eight soldiers and 11 civilians. Luthfee was arrested following the failed coup, along with his accomplice Sagar Ahmed Nasir, who was also sentenced to 25 years and released in 2014.

Luthfee fled the Maldives in January 2010, having been granted a one-year travel document for medical treatment in India. He remained at large for almost a decade, eluding capture until 1 May 2019, when he surrendered at the Maldivian embassy in Sri Lanka amid local security operations following the Easter bombings.

Upon his return to the Maldives in July 2019, Luthfee was charged with escaping from a detention facility and sentenced to seven months and six days in prison, after pleading guilty. This additional sentence was served following the completion of his life sentence, which officially ended in June.

The Maldives Correctional Service confirmed Luthfee’s release.