The Criminal Court has conducted its first hearing into charges of murder against a couple who allegedly aborted their 20-week old foetus.
The local media present at the court identified the couple as Aiminath Shaahy Aalam, 21 and Ibrahim Visam, 26, both from Addu City.
The mother Aiminath Shaahy Aalam was given the opportunity to respond to the charges and told the court she had previously stated how the incident occurred in the statement she gave to police.
The statement was read out in court, in which she confessed she had not sought medical care when she knew she was pregnant, and that she and her husband had discussed the matter and decided to abort the child. According to the statement, she confessed to taking abortion pills.
However, today in court she denied taking the pills with the intention of aborting the child and said she did not know what the pills she used were. She told the court she got the pills from a doctor working in the Dhilshaadh Clinic on Hithadhoo in Addu City.
In the statement she gave to the police investigators, she stated that her stomach had started aching at night while her husband was sleeping. She said said she woke up her husband and told him about it.
She said her husband then took off his shirt and she dropped the fetus on his shirt.
When the judge queried this, she said that she felt that something dropped on the shirt, but she didn’t see what it was, and neither did her husband showed her. Instead, he wrapped the shirt around it and put it into a plastic bag and took it away.
In the court today, Aalam denied she was involved in killing the baby and told the judge that she wanted the state appoint a lawyer for her.
The father’s trial was also conducted today. He also denied the charges and requested the court give him time to appoint a lawyer, which the judge granted.
Abortion in the Maldives is illegal unless it is proved the conception is the result of rape, or that the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s health.
The Prosecutor General’s Office forwarded the couple’s case to the Criminal Court on May 2.
Police have claimed that the buried foetus was found with its heart beating, but later died after being taken to the hospital.