Two men have been sentenced to life imprisonment over the murder of a 65-year-old man in May 2012.
Ahmed Naushad, 30, and Mohamed Faisal, 29, were found guilty on Thursday (April 23) of causing the death of Hassan Abubakuru during a robbery on the island of Maafaru in Noonu atoll.
The pair along with a minor were accused of breaking into Abubakuru’s residence after midnight on May 29 and tying up the elderly man in his bed.
The criminal court said the pair’s statements during the police interrogation, witness testimony at trial, and the prosecution’s evidence were sufficient to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
However, the juvenile court had acquitted the 17-year-old charged in relation to the murder, citing lack of evidence.
Police said Abubakuru died after Faisal gagged the victim with a t-shirt and covered his face with a pillow while Naushad and the minor tied his hands and feet with insulation tape.
Abubakuru’s death was among ten murders that occurred in 2012. The authorities have faced criticism for the lack of convictions for murder, which has been blamed on failings in the criminal justice system.
The Ministry of Home Affairs “expressed concern” about the prevention of islanders’ basic needs being met on the island of Maafaru in Noonu Atoll, with ongoing protests having resulted in the island council office, health center, and school closings, local media reported.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs Thursday (January 17) stated the provision of these services is obligated under the constitution and subsequent laws, as well as that the obstruction of these [fundamental human] rights is equivalent to denying citizens of their rights.
Therefore, necessary legal actions will be taken to restore the provision of these services without discrimination to all citizens, according to Sun Online.
The ministry added that planned government projects to provide basic services are based on income received by the state.
The government also said they “will always welcome peaceful assembly” since this right is guaranteed in the Maldivian constitution, according to local media.
The Juvenile Court has ruled that there was not enough evidence submitted to the court to convict a minor charged with the murder of Hassan Abubakur, and has closed the case.
An official from the Juvenile Court today confirmed to Minivan News that the court has acquitted one minor charged with the murder of Abubakur.
‘’The case was based on a confession he [the minor] made during the police investigation. The state had not produced any witness or evidence after he denied the charges in the court,’’ the Juvenile Court official said. ‘’When the case was presented the DNA was also produced but it did not match with the boy.’’
Officials at the Juvenile Court have confirmed this to the local media as well. Hearings conducted at the Juvenile Court are closed for the public and the media as the court only presides over cases concerning minors.
According to newspaper ‘Haveeru’ there was no evidence against the minor except for his confession he made at the police while he was under investigation. But he later denied the charges at the court.
On May 30 this year, 65 year-old Hassan Abubakur was found murdered inside his own house at about 6:00pm that day on the island of Manafaru in Noonu Atoll.
In June police arrested two men and a minor in connection with the murder. The two men were aged 26 and 27 while the minor was 17.
In July the police concluded the investigation into the case and forwarded it to the Prosecutor General.
Head of Maafaru Island Health Centre Ali Shareef said according to rumours, the man had received a large amount of cash in a lump sum through the elderly persons’ pension scheme, as he had not received it for a long time.
The assailants may have killed him in an effort to steal the money, Shareef speculated at the time.
The elderly man’s legs were tied and a pillow was on his face when his body was found, Shareef said, according to islanders who witnessed the body.
Police have concluded their investigation into the murder of 65 year-old Hassan Abubakur on Maafaru island in Noonu Atoll, and forwarded the case to the Prosecutor General’s office.
Three suspects were identified as involved in the case: Ahmed Naushad, 27 of Irufa house in Galolhu ward, Akram Abdul Fathaah, 18 of Maafaru Island and Mohamed Faisal of Isdhoo Island in Laamu Atoll.
Hassan Abubakur was found murdered inside his own house on May 30 at around 6:00pm on the island of Maafaru in Noonu Atoll.
“Neighbors living near his house noticed that he had not been coming out at all, and went in to see what was going on and found his dead body,” Ahmed Shareef, President of the Island Council of Maafaru, told Minivan News at the time.
“I saw inside the house after the incident, it seems that some people tried to steal something from the house, because the things inside his house were not arranged as they usually were,’’ he told Minivan New. “Some cupboard doors were opened and some things supposed to be kept on the table were dropped on the floor.”
Head of Maafaru Island Health Centre Ali Shareef suggested that the victim had received a large amount of cash in a lump sum through the elderly persons’ pension scheme, as he had not received it for a long time. The assailants may have killed him in an effort to steal the money, Shareef speculated.
The elderly man’s legs were tied and a pillow was on his face when his body was found, Shareef told Minivan News, according to islanders who witnessed the body.
Police have reported a cargo carrier travelling from Noonu Atoll to Malé overturned near N. Manadhoo and lost two of its passengers.
The carrier was travelling with seven crew, one of whom swam ashore to Maafaru, Noonu Atoll, and reported the incident. Another passenger was rescued by police, and three others swam ashore to Maafaaru.
Police from Noonu, Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani Atolls were searching for the two crew missing members, until Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) found the two bodies 24 metres below the surface yesterday afternoon.
The carrier was transporting two excavators, a tractor and a steel oil tank.