A Maldives court found the country's former vice-president, Ahmed Adeeb, guilty of organising a plot to kill its President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, reported AP. He has been sentenced to a 15-year prison term on charges of high treason.
The same court had convicted him for 10 years last week for possessing firearms. His total prison time adding up to 25 years could shoot up given the vice-president still awaits trials on charges of abuse of authority and corruption.
Adeeb was accused of masterminding a bomb explosion on a speed boat in which the president and his wife were travelling from the airport last year. He was then serving as vice-president.
BBC reported that the prosecution insisted that a blast had occurred, while the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), whose help the government sought for an investigation, said no bomb had exploded.
The device, reportedly placed below President Gayoom's usual seat, went off when he was not there, and injured his wife and a few others. The incident was called an assassination bid, and Adeeb was speculated to be the man behind it.
The then vice-president refuted allegations of his involvement in the blast and his lawyers said they would appeal against Thursday's court ruling. The time to prepare for their defence was also little, said Moosa Siraj, one of Adeeb's lawyers.
"This was by no means a fair trial. The investigation was nowhere near complete. I think they closed the trial because they are afraid Adeeb might say something," Mariyam Nashwa, Adeeb's wife, told the Maldives Independent website, which was cited by BBC.
Maldives in the recent years has witnessed regular political infighting, and its previous president Mohamed Nasheed now seeks refuge in the U.K. Under the Maldivian Constitution, if a president dies, is incapacitated or resigns, the vice-president succeeds him.