A third individual suspected of involvement in the violent assault on Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has been detained, according to the Maldives Police Service (MPS). The incident, which transpired near Shameem’s residence on 31 January, resulted in the Prosecutor General sustaining severe injuries, including fractures to his arm.

The suspect, taken into custody on Friday, is alleged to have tracked and monitored Shameem’s movements before the assault. The suspect has a history of criminal activity related to similar offences, according to a court order, which confirms the gang-related nature of the attack.

The incident has ignited controversy due to the lack of Shameem’s security detail at the time of the attack. Commissioner of Police Ali Shujau disclosed that the provision of security to Shameem had been based on an assessment of threat levels, particularly in light of the state’s involvement in several high-risk trials. However, upon the conclusion of these trials, the security services assigned to the Prosecutor General were rescinded.

Shujau reassured that the police had not received any prior intelligence regarding the attack and affirmed that measures had been implemented to prevent a recurrence of such an incident. The assault has elicited strong condemnation from key figures and both domestic and international organisations.

The International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), a global body representing over a quarter of a million prosecutors across 172 countries, strongly denounced the assault. Roel Dona, the Secretary-General of the IAP, in a letter addressed to Shameem, implored the Maldivian authorities to expedite a comprehensive investigation into the assault and ensure the culprits are held accountable.

In response to the incident, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), in collaboration with the Prosecutor General’s Office, has increased security for Shameem. The police are continuing their investigation into the assault and have indicated the potential involvement of additional perpetrators based on the pattern of past incidents.