- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - The Maldives government said Thursday an ousted vice president has been charged with terrorism for his alleged role in an explosion on the president’s speedboat last September.

Ahmed Adeeb was arrested a day after the blast, which injured the wife of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, a presidential aide and a bodyguard. Weeks later, Adeeb was voted out of office.

Government spokesman Ibrahim Hussain Shihab said Adeeb and five military personnel were charged in a criminal court this week. Adeeb is accused of helping the military personnel plant explosives and abusing his authority in gaining access to the boat. Charges against the military personnel also include tampering with evidence at the blast site.

Adeeb has denied involvement in the blast. If found guilty, he faces up to 15 years in jail.

The government of the Indian Ocean island nation says the blast was caused by a bomb, but FBI investigators have said they found no evidence of a bomb.

Better known for its luxury island resorts, the Maldives has had a difficult transition to democracy since holding its first multiparty election in 2008.

A former president, two former defense ministers and an opposition party leader are among those serving lengthy prison terms convicted under the country’s terrorism law.

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