Court delays Afrasheem murder trial after suspect unable to afford lawyer

The Criminal Court has delayed the second hearing into the trial of Hussain Human, who is accused of murdering MP Dr Afrasheem Ali for the sum of MVR 4 million (US$260,000).

The Criminal Court told the media that the hearing was cancelled as Humam was unable to afford a lawyer.

Spokesperson for the Criminal Court Mohamed Manik told Minivan News that the defendant has asked the state to appoint a lawyer for him.

Maldivian law obliges the state to appoint lawyers for those who can’t afford one when dealing with murder cases.

Manik said the court has not yet decided a date to schedule the next hearing.

‘’A date will be decided after discussion with police and the Prosecutor General’s Office,’’ he added.

During the last hearing the state attorney read out charges against Humam, who pleaded not guilty and requested the court to grant him the opportunity to appoint a lawyer for his defence.

The presiding judge then asked Humam how soon he could appoint a lawyer. Humam replied that he would have to speak to his family. He was given one week and the second hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Attorneys representing the state told the Criminal Court that on October 1, 2012, Humam and a group of people attacked and murdered Dr Afrasheem Ali.

Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has previously alleged that the murder of the MP for Ungoofaaru constituency was a well-planned murder worth MVR 4 million.