The Criminal Court has given the four persons charged with the murder of 16 year-old Mohamed Arham the opportunity to appoint defence lawyers after the judge decided that their current legal representative was not cooperating with the court.
According to local media present at today’s hearing the judge told the court has been facing difficulties when conducting the trial of the case because of their defence lawyer.
Arham’s body was found in May 2012 with stab wounds in his neck, back and chest with blood all over his body, the surrounding ground, and on the walls of the park.
Deputy Head of Police Serious and Organised Crime, Dhaudh Mohamed, said shortly after the attack that Arham had been killed in a revenge attack after an argument between two gangs.
Dhaudh said that the police investigation had found out that Arham had a close relationship with the gang, who were based in the park in which he was found dead. The victim had no previous criminal record, although he used to visit the park frequently.
The four suspects charged in the case were previously identified by the court and police as Mohamed Sufyan of Gahdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Mohamed Visaam of Maavah in Laamu Atoll, Mansoor Yousuf of the same island, and Athif Rasheed of Mahchangolhi Scenery View.
During today’s hearing the judge asked each of them individually if they wanted to appoint a lawyer. Defendant Athif said that he would like the state to appoint him a lawyer if his family was unable to do so.
Sufyan also said that he had been trying to appoint a lawyer but had been facing difficulties due the charge being one of murder
Visam told the court that his family had not responded to his phone calls and he would like the state to appoint a lawyer for him.
Mansoor said that his family has asked him to appoint a lawyer and he would also like to request the state to appoint a lawyer for him.
The local media reported that the judge had announced the next hearing of the case was scheduled for October 31,and that those who requested the state to appoint lawyers for them would be granted the opportunity on that day.
On March 30, patrolling police officers discovered Arham, of Noree house in Haa Alif Atoll Hoarafushil, inside the park behind Kulliyathul Dhirasathul Islamiyya (Islamic College).
The victim’s friends insisted that the assailants attacked him while he was sleeping inside the park that night.
On November 1, Sun Online reported that the Prosecutor General’s Office lawyers had told the judge that on May 30 between 1:00am and 6:00am Athif, Visam and Mansoor had gone to the park on motorbikes with some other people.
The lawyer told the judge that Visam, Sufyan and Mansoor had entered the park and assaulted Arham before leaving with Athif and some other people.
Arham was studying in grade nine at Dharumavantha School when he was killed.