Shahum found not guilty of murdering Ahusan Basheer

The Criminal Court on Thursday (November 20) found Ibrahim Shahum not guilty of murdering 21-year-old Ahusan Basheer in March 2011.

Ibrahim Shimaz, from Manchangoalhi Venus Thari, was also acquitted of aiding and abetting the murder.

Judge Abdulla Didi noted in the verdict (Dhivehi) that Islamic Sharia requires the eyewitness testimony of two males to prove guilt in murder cases.

The state had presented one eyewitnesses to the assault and three witnesses who claimed to have heard the victim saying before he died that Shahum stabbed him.

The victim had died of several stab wounds to the back and chest.

In December 2012, the Juvenile Court acquitted two minors charged in connection with the murder, citing insufficient evidence to convict.

In March 2013, Shahum was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of Mohamed Hussain, 17, from Maafanu Beauty Flower in Malé  in July 2010.

Shahum allegedly stabbed Basheer shortly after he was released by Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed following six months in remand detention after being arrested for the 17-year-old’s murder.

Citing the delay in submitting a medical report from the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the chief judge had said he was releasing the suspect “to hold the health minister accountable”.

Shahum was later taken into custody from an uninhabited island following a manhunt.

Shahum, now 23, escaped from Maafushi jail last month and was apprehended in a guest house in in Malé on October 22.


All family members of murdered Ahusan Basheer approve death sentence for minors if guilty

The Juvenile Court has said that murder victim’s Ahusan Basheer’s eight inheritors have now approved a possible death sentence for the male and female minor charged with his murder, if the court finds them guilty.

In May this year four members of Ahusan Basheer’s family were summoned to the Juvenile court to clarify if they had any objection to the death sentence being passed on the two minors charged with the murder of Ahusan. All four approved it.

The Juvenile Court said four more members of Ahusan’s family were summoned to Hithadhoo Court in Addu City to clarify if they would approve death sentence – they also approved it.

Article 88[d] of the Maldives Penal Code of the Maldives stated that murders should be dealt with according to Islamic Sharia and that persons found guilty of murder “shall be executed” if no inheritor of the victim objects, according to Islamic Sharia.

Home Minister Dr Ahmed Jameel has recently told the media that he would not hesitate to implement death sentence if the parliament determines it just.

Dr Jameel told the local media that the sentence for gang related crimes and assaults using sharp objects have to be changed to a sentence that the criminals fear.

He also said it was time the parliament determined appropriate penalties for such crimes and said he would not hesitate to implement any verdict.

Jameel said he will amend parole regulations in such a way that those convicted of murders, gang related crimes and stabbings will not be eligible for parole.

Ahusan Basheer, was stabbed to death in the early hours of March 17.

Although Maldives Penal Code allows death sentence, it has traditionally been commuted to 25 years in prison.


Family of Ahusan Basheer approve potential death sentence for two minors accused of murder

The family of 21 year-old Ahusan Basheer, who was stabbed to death on March 17, were yesterday summoned to the Juvenile Court to clarify whether they had any objections to the two minors charged with the murder being given the death sentence if found guilty.

The four family members summoned raised no objections.

A Juvenile Court official today told Minivan News that six hearings had so been held in the murder trial, in which two minors – a boy and a girl – have been accused of the murder.

The official said that the Prosecutor General had so far produced four witnesses to the court in the trial against the two minors.

The Juvenile Court said that Ahusan’s family members had been summoned to clarify whether they had any objections to a death sentence being passed against the minors, were they to be found guilty. They were not currently in Male’, he said.

According to the Maldives Penal Code, a person can be sentenced to death with the consent of all the heirs of the victim, however if even if one objects a death sentence cannot be given.

Police arrested Ibrahim Shahum, 20, as the main suspect in the murder, following his release by the Criminal Court. Shahum had been kept in detention for six months on suspicion of stabbing a 17 year-old to death on July 30, 2010.

Along with Shahum Adam another suspect identified by the police as Hassan Shimaz was also arrested.

No further details were given regarding the female suspect other than that she is being held in custody in connection with Ahusan’s murder.


Murder suspect at large

The Maldives Police Service has appealed for public assistance as it searches for fugitive Ibrahim Shahum, 20, of Galholhu Cozy, the principal suspect in the gang-related murder of 21-year old Ahusan Basheer last week.

Shahum was arrested in August last year in connection with the murder of 17-year old Mohamed Hussein on July 30, 2010, which occured near the Maaziya playground in Male’.  The suspect had later turned himself in after three weeks of police searches.

However, he was released six months later on 17 February by Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed after police claimed that the Health Ministry had not complied with requests for the medico-legal report from Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGHM), where the victim died while undergoing treatment.

According to Haveeru, Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed observed that six months was “a bit too much” to respond to a police request, ordering the release of the suspect “to hold [Health Minister] Aminath Jameel responsible.”

A statement issued by police on Thursday notes that upon request the Prosecutor General’s Office appealed the Criminal Court ruling three days later.

“Police are extremely concerned about such incidents. The Maldives Police Service will be taking special measures to curb the rising crime in society,” read the statement that also appealed for the cooperation of the authorities and the public to aid police efforts.

Meanwhile, the authorities continue to shift blame after the Criminal Court last week issued a statement defending the court from public criticism over the release of dangerous suspects.  The Criminal Court stressed that persons brought before it had constitutional rights and should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

The statement claims that court records show a number of defendants brought before the court had previously been sentenced to jail and “none of the relevant authorities of the state could prove that any of these people had been released to society on a Criminal Court order.”