Two “dangerous criminals” to be set free if police witnesses fail to appear in court, warns judge

A Criminal Court judge handling the case of two persons identified by police as “dangerous criminals” has claimed that police had “not cooperated” with the court and that both may have to be released.

Thursday’s hearing of the case against Ahmed Shareef of Gaafu Dhaalu Nadella and Maadhih Mohamed of Laamu Gan, had to be cancelled after police officers who were supposed to testify as witnesses failed to appear, according to local media.

The media reported the judge as saying that it was the fourth hearing in the trial that had to be cancelled because the two police officers did not appear, and stated that the court was informed that one police officer was on vacation while the other was not turning up for work.

The judge said that a hearing would be scheduled for next week and that if the two police officers failed to appear, the two suspects would be released from custody.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam meanwhile said that police had always fully cooperated with the Criminal Court and had always produced persons necessary for trials.

“If we had failed to produce someone to the court we have always informed the court about it, and given a reason as to why we have been unable to present him,” Shiyam said.

Shareef and Maadhih are both charged of assaulting and stabbing Ismail Firdhaus, near the Hulhumale’ ferry terminal.

Both of them denied the charges against them, however, the court granted the police authority to hold them in police custody until their trial was concluded.

On February 17, Criminal Court’ Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed released Ibrahim Shahum Adam, a 19 year-old who was arrested in August last year for allegedly murdering 17 year-old Mohamed Hussain.

Adam was presented to the Criminal Court with a police request to extend the period of detention, but Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed noted that the Criminal Court had already extended the detention of Shahum by six months for investigation which had not yet been concluded.

Police blamed the Health Ministry, and told the judge that the investigation had not concluded because the ministry had not responded to a letter police sent in August 2010 requesting the medical report on the death of Mohamed Hussain.

Judge Abdulla told police this was not reasonable grounds to keep a person in detention.

Later the family of Ahusan Basheer, 21, who was fatally stabbed in a gang fight, accused Shahum of murdering Ahusan and blamed Judge Abdulla for releasing him.