“Dangerous criminal” acquitted of assault charges

Criminal Court yesterday acquitted Hassaan Ali, 22, from the island of Fares-Maathoda in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, who was identified by police as a ”dangerous criminal” and charged with assault by the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO).

The accused faced charges of allegedly assaulting Mohamed Shuaib, Ma. Shady Cabin, on August 12, 2008.

According to the Criminal Court, none of the witnesses presented by the prosecution testified that they saw Hassaan commit the assault.

Hassaan was accused of stabbing Shuaib in the neck with a bayonet knife.

The Court ruled that the PGO had not submitted sufficient evidence or witnesses statements to prove that Hassaan was guilty of the crime.

Hassaan had meanwhile denied the charges in court.

According to police records, Hassaan had previously been arrested 13 times for offences ranging from violent assault to robbery, with two cases forwarded to the PGO.

In March this year, Hassaan was arrested again during a special operation conducted to avoid potential clashes between rival gangs following the fatal stabbing of 21 year-old Ahusan Basheer.

After holding the “dangerous suspect” in pretrial detention for several days, Hassaan was released by the Criminal Court to house arrest. However he was arrested again shortly afterward.

The Criminal Court at the time extended his detention for three days, and after keeping Hassaan in pretrial detention for a further three days, he was released by the court after denying a police request for a further extension.

However Hassaan was taken into custody on his way home from the court, who requested yet another extension of detention.

On the last occasion, the judge ordered Hassan be placed under house arrest for his alleged involvement in a fight that occurred in Boduthakurufaanu Magu on December 3, 2010.

The PG then accused Hassan of aiding the escape of assault suspect Aseel Ismail, who had allegedly attacked Rilwan Faruhath with a machete.

In April this year, police publicised criminal records of 17 persons taken into custody and identified as “dangerous criminals.” The list includes Rilwan and Aseel as well. All 17 suspects have been arrested on average more than 10 to 15 times.

While the court has acquitted Hassan yesterday, he remains in remand custody until the trials of his pending cases could be conducted.