Minor arrested in connection with Dr Afrasheem’s case sentenced for misleading investigation

The Juvenile Court has sentenced a minor arrested in connection with Dr Afrasheem Ali’s murder to eight months imprisonment after the court found him guilty of misleading the police investigation.

According to local newspapers, the court ruling was based on witness statement and the minor’s confession.

However no media outlet has yet been able to get details regarding the hearings inside the Juvenile Court, which were closed to the public and media. The court ruling was issued yesterday.

The trial of Hussain Humam and Ali Shan, two other men charged with the murder of Dr Afrasheem Ali, continues in the Criminal Court.

MP Afrasheem was stabbed to death on the night of October 1 2012, by the staircase of his home. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the case including Humam and a suspect identified as Ali Shan of Henveiru Hikost.

A Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) officer and Abdulla ‘Jaa’ Javid – son-in-law of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik – were also detained by police over alleged involvement in the case. Both were later released by the courts.

Javid spent 45 days in detention in connection to the Afrasheem murder, after which time at the time his lawyer argued his continued detention was unconstitutional given there was no evidence to support keeping him in custody.

In December last year the MDP accused the police of attempting to pin Afrasheem’s murder on its members, instead of going after those guilty of the crime.

Police Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz has previously stated the child “deliberately misled” police by providing false information during their investigation into Afrasheem’s murder. The minor was the “lookout” during the stabbing and subsequent murder of the moderate Islamic scholar.

In accordance with the Penal Code, any person who gives false testimony can be given a jail sentence of up to a year, face two years of banishment, or receive a maximum fine of MVR 1,000 (US$65).

Minors can be given only two-thirds of any given sentence, according to juvenile crime regulations.


2 thoughts on “Minor arrested in connection with Dr Afrasheem’s case sentenced for misleading investigation”

  1. ISSUE: Minor convicted to 8 months imprisonment for misleading a police investigation.

    Is this legal?
    Yes, ss 62 and 63 of the Penal Code lays out the crime of giving false testimony to an investigation. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 1 year's imprisonment, 2 years house arrest/banishment or a fine of MVR 1000/-. Meanwhile Juvenile Justice Regulations say a minor should be given not more than 2/3rds of any penalty.

    My opinion?
    S 62 is a bit harsh and counterproductive to conducting an investigation. Case in point, even errors in recollection if they amount to false testimony can be prosecuted as a crime. However the details of this case are not in the public domain given the fact that it involves a child. Therefore forming an opinion over the matter is hard. The media should work with the judiciary to get case reports where the name of the defendant is replaced with a letter of the alphabet or some such other device.


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