Ayyube murder suspect denies charges

Fauzan Mohamed, a suspect arrested in connection to the murder of 76 year-old Ali Hassan ‘Ayyube’ has denied the charges levied against him in the Criminal Court and has said he did not want the state to appoint him a lawyer.

According to online newspaper ‘Haveeru’, a hearing in to the case was yesterday held at the Criminal Court where the Judge repeatedly asked Fauzan if he wanted the state to appoint him a lawyer. But, he replied that he will continue the trial without a lawyer and said he will not need a lawyer at any point of the trial.

During yesterday’s hearing, the state presented four witnesses, a DNA report, Ayyube’s death certificate and a crime scene report.

Fauzan also presented two witnesses for his defense but he did not have the full name and permanent address of the two witnesses. The judge asked him to provide a written document including the full names and the permanent address of the witnesses.

Ayyube’s body was discovered with multiple stab wounds in an abandoned house on Kudahuvadhoo on January 8, 2013. Police arrested six individuals in connection to the case.

The victim had previously been accused of using sorcery on Fauzan’s 37 year-old mother. She was reported missing at 2:00am on December 4, 2011 and her body was found floating in Kudahuvadhoo lagoon later that morning.

Island Council President of Kudahuvadhoo Ibrahim Fikry at the time told Minivan News that the islanders were all frightened after Ayyube’s death.

“After the death of the woman the islanders were scared, and then this incident occurred and now the islanders are worse,” he said adding that no one walked the streets after the sun went down.

“The injuries sustained were horrific,” Fikry told Minivan News at the time. He said that the victim’s forehead was slashed and that his neck was slit. “There were deep stab wounds to the chest and back, revealing the bones. The intestines were visible from a slash to the stomach,” he recalled.

In March, 2013, two minors charged with Ayyube’s murder pleaded guilty to aiding the murder in court. The two minors were charged with spying on Ayyube before the murder, and assisting the assailants to hide the weapons they used to murder him.

The step-grandson of Hassan was also summoned to the Criminal Court for his involvement in the case.

He told the court that he believed Fauzan murdered Ayyube because he was rumored to have killed Fauzan’s mother.

If found guilty, Fauzan will be sentenced to death. The death penalty will be implemented if the Supreme Court upholds the sentence and if all of Ayyube’s heirs desire the death sentence.

Before the trial ends, the court will take statements from all heirs of the victim to determine if they had any objection to passing death sentence on Fauzan.

On April 27, 2014, Home Minister Umar Naseer has said that death penalty will be implemented in the Maldives from that day onwards with the publication of procedural regulations concerning death penalty and its implementation in the government gazette.

Maldives has been maintaining an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty since 1953. After 1953, the heads of state have always commuted death sentences to life imprisonment through powers vested in him in the Clemency Act.

The last person to be judicially executed in the Maldives was Hakim Didi, who was executed by firing squad in 1953 after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder using black magic.