Three men acquitted of murdering 14-year-old boy

The Criminal Court of the Maldives today acquitted three men charged with murdering a 14-year-old boy in April 2008 after three key witnesses retracted their statements.

While four witnesses identified the defendants for the police investigation, Judge Muhthaz Fahmy noted that the three witnesses who testified at the trial claimed that they could not positively identify the accused, Mohamed Waseem, Gaaf Alif Villigili, Musthafa Moosa, Male’ registry 4126, and Ihusaanudheen “Ihu” Rasheed of Galolhu Masodige.

Judge Muhthaz ruled that the Prosecutor General’s (PG’s) office could not present sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Shifau Ismail, 14

The 14-year-old victim, Shifau “Kudaso” Ismail, was killed in April 2008 at the peak of brutal gang violence in the capital.

On the evening of April 4, Shifau and a group of friends were ambushed and chased near Galolhu Masodige after they knocked over some tin walls in the area.

Shifau was separated from his friends and was caught by the gang after he entered a nearby house to hide.

The gang reportedly threw Shifau down the stairs of Galolhuaage and beat him with bats and other weapons.

Shifau died on September 12 while undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit at the Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital.

None of the suspects charged in the half dozen gang-related murder cases of the past three years have yet been convicted.

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17 thoughts on “Three men acquitted of murdering 14-year-old boy”

  1. This is ridiculous. How can people get away with murder in a place less that 2 square miles? Where's the forensic evidence? How could the Police present such a serious case with just eye-witnesses as evidence? I'm sorry but this is total incompetence on the part of the Police.

    A 14 year old was beaten to death. The crime scene would have been full of evidence linked to the murderers. This wasn't a subtle act; a human being was bludgeoned to death. The suspects would have had blood, tissue and other material on their body and clothes which even a cursory forensic examination would have recovered.

    I'm speechless at this result. A very dark day for this country.

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  2. The dates in this story make no sense at all.

    "The Criminal Court of the Maldives today acquitted three men charged with murdering a 14-year-old boy in September 2008"

    So was it September 2008?

    "The 14-year-old victim, Shifau “Kudaso” Ismail, was killed in April 2008 at the peak of brutal gang violence in the capital."

    Or was it April 2008?

    Corrected

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  3. well this is democratie, many changes but nothng is changing. same drug, how drugs come in this country, well everybody knows! why they took the drug DOGs out, so that all politic people can take drug in, and then hiding behind ..... well good luck. If You want realy realy want carbon free maldives, better you start now! or do you like money more then your brother and sisters?

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  4. Why not political parties go on the street and do rallies and gathering for social cause.. These issues are most important as our children and society is in danger why not pressure gov and parliament for these issues.... Is our children and society less or no important for these political parties and their members. With out social peace and harmony there will be no gain for country and society even with economic gain and that gain will be lost as social loss is much costly.

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  5. So he was "killed in April 2008" and "died on September 12"?

    It is surprising how a brutal murder case like this can hang entirely on the statements of eye-witnesses what appears to be over 2 years of investigation.

    I don't know whether it is the courts or the Police (or both?), but somebody's obviously incompetent if we have to continue to share the streets with people who don't hesitate to bludgeon a boy to death in full public view.

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  6. Well this is aneh dhivehiraajje. We should expect these things.

    Criminals have tripled their numbers and they are running loose. Well known notorious gangs are allowed to protest outside president’s palace but not the opposition parties. It is also noticeable to see President very comfortable walking through the gang the members and without bodyguards during the gangs protest outside his palace.

    It is also highly believed that the 2 most notorious gangs are controlled by Reeko Moosa and Yamin.

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  7. The police has a forensic unit that even today are not able to recover the weapons used in fights and murders.The elusive "sharp object" that was used in most of the violent crimes is still missing. The police work on these cases are a big joke where not even a shred of forensic evidence has been presented for trial. They will probably take over the airwaves blaming the lack of law the PG and the judiciary. I think the Police Integrity Commission should start looking into these high profile cases and determine why these investigations are never able to successfully convict anyone. Maybe the Police are scared of these gangs just like the general public. We do need a solution and don't see it coming anytime soon.Another family is now waiting for justice in vain.

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  8. The name "Criminal Court", it self is smelly as the sitting Judge as it seems!

    It is proving beyond doubt that under this system of JUSTICE cannot prevail and that criminals can and will get away with what ever wrong they do if they have the will and means!

    Another win for criminals! And an in- justice to a poor family!

    Pathetic!

    This makes it harder to believe if Reeko Moosa was wrong; in declaring a "People's Court", even if it were for his political gain or whichever!

    As Jazz has said, his family do need some respect, and I am sure they have a right to Justice!

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  9. Who shall take the responsibility? Is that the problem of Police, Prosecution, Court or Parliament? Do we seek a responsibility, or else, Do the responsibility lies on the side of offenders to give up committing crimes in Maldives.
    The responsibility starts from in Parliament. They are politically motivated. Reeko Moosa is to defend the government and Thasmeen is to make political attach by deploying their members in parliament. Where’s the Evidence Act? How can a Judge admit Forensic Evidence other than witneses? How the police can arrest and detain a suspect for a reasonable time if they are forced to free the family members of the political leaders. Where’s the criminal code, which had drafted long ago.
    We need to recruite a morally good police force who is not politically biased. We need to employ clean and competent people to the police force. We need to let them learn the best investigative methods and How to collect evidence. We need to let them learn how to spy the offenders rather spying political leaders. We need them to follow the rules and regulations of this country. We need to review the policing methods and their “curriculum”.
    Prosecution is the most important part. They do not know that the burden of proof is on their side. They do think that burden lies on defendant, which was practiced until August 8, 2008. They do not have “qualifications” compare to the defence lawyers. Why do they keep the cases for months and say that the police have neglected to remedify the statements.
    And Court, the most difficult part to comment, where I might commit contempt.

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  10. There is no point in bringing in POLITICS into this. The Courts are not to be blamed either.

    The State prosecutor simply failed to supply enough evidence to support a MURDER case. How reliable are eye-witnesses in front of the defendents? Where was the rest of the evidence? What about the weapons they used? What about fingerprints? What about forensic evidence, blood, tissue samples etc?

    The whole case fell apart due to the medieval methods of evidence presented by the State prosecutor. We have a Constitution and legal system now based on 21st Century principles, but the Police seem to be stuck in a time warp regarding investigations.

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  11. @ Ahmed

    It is difficult for all parties concerned, the Police, the PG Office, and the Judges to address justice when crucial laws are not in place to support their work.

    The delegation of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) who completed its fact-finding mission last week noted that one of the most serious challenges faced by the judiciary was the absence of important legislation such as the Judicature Bill, the Penal Code, a Criminal Procedure Code, and the Evidence Bill (Minivan News / September 19th, 2010).

    Two years down the road our parliament is yet to pass these laws. Unbelievable!!!

    I am utterly baffled how a group of people professing to represent us, the people can be so lax about matters critical to our safety and well being. especially at a time when our children are being murdered on the streets and our women raped and abused. Does anyone know why these laws have not been passed?

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