There is no evidence of any political involvement in the terrorist attack on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, Special Envoy appointed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to monitor the investigation, Abbas Faiz, said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference at the President’s Office, Faiz said there were allegations at the very beginning that such an attack could have come from political rivals, however there was no such link to those in government or any opposition party.

It was further alleged that the attack on Nasheed might have been related to his efforts to release the list of individuals involved in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) scandal, however, Faiz stated that he did not believe this to be the case, as investigations revealed that the attack had been planned long before the former president announced the release of the list.

All findings so far pointed to the attack being carried out by homegrown religious extremists as there was no evidence to indicate the hand of outside groups in the incident, the special envoy said.

Faiz expressed concern that the true funders of the attack may not have been identified yet; explaining that current findings seem to indicate that the perpetrators themselves had funded the attack.

“Their transactions show that they bought the materials used in the attack. It is not money from outside,” the President’s envoy said.

Faiz reiterated that the investigations into the attack, especially along the lines of funding, were being conducted thoroughly, and professionally, and that the police probe along those lines would continue. He said there was always the possibility of new information coming to light within the investigation and, as such, investigative efforts should continue.

The special envoy also expressed his dissatisfaction with the speed of the trials saying the judges had informed him that delays were due to difficulties within the Criminal Court premises. He called on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to address the situation in a manner such that administrative matters, such as building logistics, not get in the way of justice in major cases.

Faiz was appointed in May 2021 by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as Special Envoy to the Government of Maldives to monitor the investigation, prosecution, and trial of the terrorist attack against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

Faiz is a British national with more than 30 years of experience monitoring the human rights situation in South Asia, including the Maldives. He previously held the position of the most senior advisor to the Secretary-General of Amnesty International on the countries in his brief and worked as a Lecturer in Law in the Schools of Law, Essex University, UK.