Underage murder suspect transferred to house arrest

The juvenile court has transferred a suspect in the murder of 19-year-old Ahmed Aseel to house arrest after the minor’s family said he has depression.

The court had previously ordered the minor to be kept in police custody until the murder trial ends.

The minor’s family submitted documents to prove he has depression, local media said.

Aseel was attacked in Malé in August last year and died as a result of his injuries. He was stabbed near Iskandhar School in the Machangolhi ward of the the capital on August 23 along with two others – aged 20 and 13-years-old – whose injuries were not critical.

Doctors had removed Aseel’s right leg in an attempt to save his life after he was stabbed six times.

Eyewitnesses said a group of masked men stabbed the two men in the back and struck the minor on the head before fleeing on motorbikes.

Some eight suspects, including two minors, have been charged over the murder.



19-year-old man stabbed to death in sixth murder in 2015

A 19-year-old victim of an assault in Addu City last night died this morning while undergoing treatment for injuries.

Local media has identified the deceased as Hussain Shiar from the Atheena house in the Hithadhoo ward. He was stabbed in the back and the head.

A police media official said the assault victim passed away around 10:45am. He was being treated at the intensive care unit of the Hithadhoo regional hospital.

The media official said the hospital had reported the assault to police.

No arrests have been made yet. According to local media, Shiar was attacked by masked men who entered his home around 11:00pm last night.

But the police media official said the assault occurred on the street.

In November last year, masked men forcibly entered a home in the Maradhoo ward of Addu City and assaulted a father and son. The incident followed the arrest of a 23-year-old from Maradhoo on suspicion of attacking a 34-year-old with a machete the previous night.

Shiar’s fatal stabbing meanwhile marks the sixth murder this year.

In late March, the police launched a joint security operation with the army following the the murder of a 29-year-old man in Malé.

Police officers and soldiers began patrolling the streets of the capital, checking vehicles, and stopping and searching individuals in an effort to curb gang violence.

A 23-year-old was stabbed to death outside his home in the Henveiru ward of Malé on February 21, whilst a 29-year-old was killed in Laamu Mundoo on March 20.

Two were Bangladeshis also murdered and four expatriates stabbed in a spike in violence against expatriates in March.


Mother confesses to abusing murdered three-year-old baby

A mother accused of murdering her three-year-old boy has confessed to killing the child at the first hearing of her trial today.

Afiya Mohamed Manik told the court that she repeatedly abused her son, Mohamed Ibthihaal, and said she felt anger towards the boy because he was born out of wedlock.

In addition to murder, Afiya was also charged with disobedience to order over child abuse and neglect with reference to the law on protecting children’s rights. She appeared for today’s hearing without legal representation and pleaded guilty to the latter charge, but also confessed to the murder.

Ibthihaal died “by my hands,” Afiya was quoted as saying by local media. She confessed to strangling the child and kicking his chest three times.

Judge Muhthaz Fahmy reportedly stopped Afiya and reminded her that she was to answer the disobedience to order charge. The judge and state prosecutor explained the charge to Afiya.

Afiya said she understood the charge and was confessing to abusing her son voluntarily.

The charge carries a penalty of six months in jail.

Reporters at the hearing observed that Afiya appeared calm, but her voice trembled when she spoke of abusing Ibthihaal on the day of his death. She was handcuffed throughout the hearing.

At today’s hearing, the judge offered Afiya the opportunity to appoint a lawyer at the state’s expense and explained the process of seeking a public defender. He did not announce a date for the next hearing.

If she is found guilty of murder, Afiya faces a sentence of life imprisonment. She had reportedly confessed to murder during the police interrogation and her remand hearings.

Ibthihaal’s body was found with signs of severe abuse on January 28 in the worst case of child abuse in recent years. The horrific murder on the island of Rakeedhoo in Vaavu atoll shocked the nation while reports that the authorities had been aware of Ibthihaal’s abuse sparked public outrage.

Afiya was arrested for murder two days later and has since been held in pre-trial detention.

Afiya’s stepfather, Ismail Raoof, was arrested on April 1 on suspicion of physically and sexually abusing Ibthihaal.

In April, Chief Inspector Abdulla Satheeh said negligence by government authorities and the island community on Vaavu Rakeedhoo was partly responsible for the toddler’s murder.

Satheeh said marks on the child’s neck indicated that he had been strangled.

Police also found swelling on the right side of his forehead, scrapes on his face, wounds on his right ear and scars all over his body. Some of his ribs were broken as well.

Satheeh said Ibthihaal’s death was caused by “major injuries” while some older scars remained unhealed.

“Mohamed Ibthihal had received physical and psychological harm from different individuals on different occasions, for a long period of time,” he said.


Bangladeshi worker found dead with face smashed in

An undocumented Bangladeshi national has been discovered dead with severe head injuries at an uninhabited house in Laamu Atoll Gan Island today.

Ishag Yoosuf, the 65-year-old caretaker of the house, said he discovered the farmworker’s body at 7:00am. He is known as Bassan.

“I went to pick up some tools to paint my house. Bassan was lying face up on the veranda. His face was covered with a pillow. The pillow was all bloodied. The right side of his face was smashed in. Blood was splattered all over the walls up to 8 feet,” he said.

Bassan, a tall dark man in his late twenties, has worked in the Maldives for ten years, Ishag said.

The caretaker had last spoken to Bassan on Tuesday, but said he had not reported any problems.

“He told me he had asked the owner who is living in Malé if he could sleep in the house. There is no toilet there. Only the veranda he could sleep in. He said he was eating fine. Apparently he had paid a company to get food,” Ishag said.

The owner of the house, Thoha Waheed, denied Bassan had asked for permission to sleep at the vacant house.

“I don’t know how he came to live there. I know the man, but he never asked me to let him stay at the house,” he said.

The police said the murder occurred 24 hours before the body was discovered. The serious and organized crime department is investigating the case.

Bassan’s death is the third apparent murder of Bangladeshi workers this year. In March 22, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi named Shaheen Mia was stabbed to death in a Malé café.

Two days later, the naked body of a young man named Kazi Bilal was found with a piece of cloth around his neck in Alif Alif Atoll Thoddoo.

The vice president of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), Ahmed Tholal expressed concern over the Maldives’ failure to protect migrant workers.

“We have been and still are unable to provide protection for expatriates,” he said.

Some 124,000 immigrant workers live in Maldives, the immigration department has said. Some 30,000 are not documented.

The former Bangladeshi High Commissioner for Maldives Selina Mohsin has described the situation of Bangladeshi workers in the country as “bizarre and horrifying.”

In 2014, the police rescued a Bangladeshi held captive in an accommodation block for migrant workers.

In April two migrant workers were kidnapped, robbed and beaten in a recruitment and employment agency in the capital Male’ City.

Another Bangladeshi was discovered in chains in 2009.


Criminal court releases murder suspect

The criminal court has released a defendant on trial for the murder of 16-year-old Mohamed Arham in May 2012 from police custody.

According to local media, the case was transferred from judge Muhthaz Fahmy to judge Abdulla Didi last week.

Judge Didi reportedly ordered the release of Athif Rasheed, from Maafanu Scenery View in Malé, after a hearing of the murder trial today.

Arham, a grade nine student at the Dharumavantha School, was found dead in the Lorenzo park in Malé on May 30, 2012. He died of multiple stab wounds to the neck, back, and chest.

Rasheed was charged with murder along with three other suspects and had been kept in pre-trial detention since his arrest. The trial began in November 2012.


Mother charged with murder over death of toddler

A mother has been charged with killing her three-year-old son on the island of Rakeedhoo in Vaavu atoll in January.

The prosecutor general’s office told local media that the case against Fathmath Afiya was filed at the criminal court today.

The body of three-year-old Mohamed Ibthihaal was found with signs of severe abuse on January 28 in the worst case of child abuse in recent years. The murder shocked the nation while reports that officials had been aware of Ibthihaal’s abuse sparked public outrage.

Afiya was arrested two days later and has since been held in pre-trial detention. Her stepfather, Ismail Raoof, was arrested on April 1 on suspicion of physically and sexually abusing Ibthihaal.

The PG office also pressed disobedience to order charges against Afiya over child neglect.


Suspect accused of stuffing murdered girlfriend into suitcase acquitted

The criminal court has acquitted the chief suspect in the murder of Mariyam Sheereen in January 2010, citing insufficient evidence.

Mohamed Najah was accused of killing his girlfriend, stuffing her body into a suitcase, and dumping it at a construction site in Malé.

Almost five years after the murder trial began, chief judge Abdulla Mohamed said in the verdict delivered today that in addition Najah denying the charges, the state had failed to submit conclusive evidence.

The three doctors who examined Sheereen’s body had not been able to determine the cause of death, he noted, and said there was no written evidence of the doctors’ suggestion to conduct a postmortem.

None of the prosecution’s witnesses had testified to Najah committing any act to murder Sheereen, the verdict stated.

The 30-year-old woman’s body was found hidden under a pile of sandbags in a construction site on January 3, 2010 by a Bangladeshi worker.

Police said the body was found 36 hours after her death. Najah was accused of taking the suitcase to the vacant building in a taxi.

The driver of the taxi that Najah took also testified at the trial.

Police showed CCTV footage from January 2 of Najah dragging the suitcase and testified that DNA samples from the bag matched Sheereen’s.

The couple were living together in an apartment in Maafanu Kurahaage.

Witnesses also testified to hearing Najah threatening to kill Sheereen and told the court that she was last seen entering the apartment on the night she went missing.

Prosecutors told the court that Najah had come out several times, locking the door each time, and was later seen leaving with a suitcase.

Judge Abdulla said that the taxi driver had only said that he transported Najah with a heavy suitcase and that he smelled a foul scent only after Najah had left the cab.

The chief judge has been accused by the opposition of corruption and bribery. Former president Mohamed Nasheed – who was found guilty of terrorism charges over the military’s detention of judge Abdulla in January 2012 – had said the judge was suspected of involvement in a “contract killing.”

If he had been found guilty, Najah would have faced the death penalty.

Sheereen’s heirs had told the court that they no objection to Najah’s execution if he was found guilty.

Najah has been previously sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on drug abuse charges in January 2009.


Suspect acquitted in murder of 75-year-old woman

The criminal court on Wednesday acquitted a suspect charged in connection with the murder of a 75-year-old woman on the island of Neykurendhoo in Haa Dhaal atoll.

Ali Shaheem from Kaafu Guraidhoo was accused of suffocating Fathmath Zakariyya to death with a towel on April 15, 2012.

The court said the prosecution was unable to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

However, Shaheem had confessed to the murder during the police interrogation. While state prosecutors submitted a video of the confession, the court said a forensic reports relating to the videos were not submitted.

The judge also said the prosecution did not submit a doctor’s report that ruled out natural causes.

However, Shameem was found guilty of stealing the deceased’s phone. He was also accused of stealing her jewellery.

While an expatriate state witness had testified that Shaheem sold him the jewellery, the court said the sate was unable to prove that the jewellery was stolen from Fathmath.

The phone was meanwhile in Shaheem’s possession when he was taken to the Kulhudhufushi police station and its serial number matched the phone used by the deceased.

The court said Shaheem was unable to prove his assertion that he had bought the phone.

The trial on the charges of murder and theft were conducted without a lawyer as Shaheem had declined legal representation.


Two men sentenced to life imprisonment for murder

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.

maafaru77Police 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.