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.