The Criminal Court has acquitted six men charged with the gang rape of a minor, on the grounds that the prosecution was unable to offer sufficient evidence to prove they were guilty.
Abdulla Nazeef of Fuvamulah, Mohamed Shifau of Villimale’, Azim Ali from Dhigurah in Alif Dhaalu, Hoodh Mohamed of Male’ special registry, Inash Abdulla of Gaafu Dhaalu Vaadhoo and Ali Ashraf of Maafannu Athuma were charged with the sexual abuse of a minor by a group.
The Prosecutor General’s Office pressed charges against the six suspects on allegations that on June 5, 2010, they abducted a 14 year-old girl, took her to an abandoned area near the Villimale’ antennae area, and raped the victim.
The Criminal Court stated in its verdict that the state had charged the six men under the Special Provisions for Perpetrators of Child Sex Abuse Act of 2009 but had not produced enough evidence as required by the law to declare a person guilty.
According to local media, the court’s verdict stated that the suspects were acquitted as the state had not presented the required number of witnesses to the incident.
The verdict also stated that all the defendants had denied the charges.
According to local media, two of the accused – Abdulla Nazeef and Mohamed Shifau – are among the suspects charged with the murder of Ahmed Mirza Ibrahim.
In April 2011, Mirza Ibrahim was struck in the head with an iron bar while he was sitting inside a park in Villingili, the ward of Male’ where he lived.
Mirza suffered severe head injuries in the attack and was rushed to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), where he was placed on life support but later declared brain-dead.