Uncertainty over 2011 case of British couple killed in resort quad bike accident

The Criminal Court has said it still requires statements from the parents of a British couple killed in a quad bike accident at Kuredu Island Resort in 2011.

Swedish national Filip Eugen Petre, a son of a shareholder in Kuredu Island Resort, is currently facing trial for his alleged role in crashing a quad bike carrying British nationals Emma and Jonathon Grey at Kuredu on August 6, 2011.

The case is at a stand still as the court awaits responses from the parents of the deceased, regarding the preferred form of punishment for the accused.

However, both police in the UK and the respective families of the deceased have both insisted that the families decision has been submitted and then re-submitted to the court.

Earlier today, Director of the Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid, contacted the Criminal Court media official on behalf of Minivan News for more information on the case.

“The Criminal Court media official, Mr Manik, told me that the trial hearings are now over. However, the court is currently awaiting statements from all of the family members regarding the preferred form of punishment for the accused. Only then will there be a final verdict,” Maajid claimed.

In October, 2012, Maajid told Minivan News that the court was awaiting a response from only of the victim’s family in regard to the accused’s punishment.

“A Criminal Court media officer tells me that what remains in the case is to obtain the word of the family of one of the victims, as to whether they want a sentence of execution, or blood money or to forgive,” Maajid told Minivan News back in October.

Minivan News attempted to contact the Criminal Court media official today, but he was not responding to calls or text messages throughout the day.

Maajid, when asked to clarify the information in relation to the previous comments made by courts, said that the official from the Criminal Court had later found more information regarding the case.

“Criminal Court has said they have a statement from the mother of the deceased man. But they have not received one from the father of the man, or either of the parents of the deceased woman,” Maajid claimed.

Under Islamic law, the family of the victim is given the option to sentence the accused to execution, blood money or to forgive them.

A relation to the deceased told Minivan News today that their statements had been submitted multiple times on different occasions to the courts.

According to the relation, the last the family had been told by the court was that the final verdict of the charge would be delivered at the next scheduled hearing.

“On the last hearing, which was held on February 27, closing arguments were given by the state and the defense. The judge has stated that the final verdict of the charge would be delivered at the next scheduled hearing.

“Furthermore, in the same hearing the court indicated that, they would contact the families of the deceased if they find there is a need to do so,” the relative said the family had been told.

UK police re-submit family requests

In October 2012, UK police were made to resubmit requests from the relatives regarding the punishment.

A relation of the Grays confirmed to Minivan News in October 2012 that neither victim’s family had received any official notification from the Maldivian courts themselves.

The UK police however, through a family liaison officer, confirmed that their Maldivian counterparts were informed “months ago” of the families’ preferred sentence.

“The police have said that they are going to re-submit the issue to the Maldives police today,” claimed the relation.

“That’s what is holding up the case right now, [the police] do not seem to have forwarded this information to the courts.”

The relative added that while they did wish to see some form of punitive sentence for the driver if he was convicted, they did not want any severe or long-term action to be taken against the defendant.

“He’s just a young guy. We don’t want to see his life ruined,” the relative said.

Jonathan Grey’s mother Cath Davies told UK-based newspaper the Halifax Courier in March 2012 that the prospect of Petre facing the death penalty was “shocking. It’s absolutely horrendous.”

Previous hearings

In previous hearings, the prosecution claimed that the charge of ‘disobedience to order’ Petre stands accused of resulted from his decision to carry people on a vehicle which was not intended for passengers.

The prosecution contended that his criminal action began from the moment he allowed the couple to ride with him on the vehicle.

Presiding Judge Abdul Baary Yousuf declared in court during earlier hearings that Petre’s lawyer had himself confessed during the trial that his client had driven the quad bike carrying Emma and Jonathan Gray as it crashed on the tourist property.

As a result of this confession, the judge said the state did not have to produce any evidence to prove Petre was the driver of the vehicle during the collision.

Representing the prosecution, State Attorney Aishath Fazna also contended that because Petre had “confessed” to driving the quad bike, she did not believe the state had to produce evidence to support this assumption.

However, Petre’s lawyer Areef Ahmed responded at the time that his client had not directly confessed to driving the quad bike and argued that his client continued to deny the charges against him.

Areef additionally claimed that the judge could not declare a verdict regarding the alleged confession said to have been during the previous hearing.

Areef contended that his confession could be withdrawn before the case reached to a conclusion, but the state attorney argued that after confessing in the trial, there was no way it can be withdrawn.

Petre’s lawyer has also contended that his client could not be charged under Islamic Sharia because his client is non-Muslim.