Witnesses produced by the prosecution have testified against Hussain Humam, the chief suspect in the MP Dr Afrasheem Ali murder case, with one claiming he had seen a person very similar to Humam in the ablution area of Shaheed Ali Mosque during the night the MP was murdered.
On October 2012, Dr Afrasheem Ali – the former MP for Dhuvaafaru constituency – was found brutally stabbed to death on the staircase of his residence.
According to police, the murder occurred shortly after Afrasheem arrived home following his appearance on the TVM show “Islamee Dhiriulhun” (Islamic Life), with Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohamed Qubad Aboobakuru.
After lengthy criminal investigation, the police identified Humam as the prime suspect in the case and the Prosecutor General pressed charges of murder against him.
Along with Humam, Ali Shan is facing the same charges while a minor identified as ‘Nangi’ stands accused of aiding and abetting the murder, after police claimed he had accompanied Humam and Shan to the residence of Dr Afrasheem before murdering him with a machete and a bayonet knife.
Humam initially confessed to the murder, but later withdrew his statement claiming it had been extracted under police duress.
During the hearing on Tuesday the state witness claimed as he entered the ablution area of the Shaheed Ali Mosque around 1:20 am on October 2, 2012, he saw a man washing his face and hands in the area. The witness, who was approximately three feet from the man at the time, said he believed the man was not performing ablution.
Instead, he was watching his face and hands in an extraordinary manner, the witness told the court. The witness also said that the man looked very similar to Humam, despite seeing him as having long hair at the time and the photograph of Humam shown by police having trimmed hair.
The witness said he had given the same statement previously to police during the investigation.
Another witness said he saw Humam on the same night around 12:40am walking at a frantic pace from Boduthakurufaanu Magu to the area near Tascalusa Cafe, where he crossed the road. He added that Humam appeared very nervous as he crossed the road near the Artificial Beach.
Both the witnesses identified Humam wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt.
Another witness claimed he had seen Humam smoking a cigarette in the Children’s Park in front of Dr Afrasheem’s residence, as he walked into the premises.
During the hearing of the trial, Humam also made several statements. He claimed that he was not mentally stable and that he wanted a psychologist to assess him before the trials proceeded.
He also claimed that after the police arrested him, he was taken to Villimale Police Station where police psychologically tortured him. Humam claimed that the police officers in Villimale Police station showed him photos of Afrasheem’s body, and a document that claimed the state would begin enforcing death penalty.
He also alleged to the court that senior police officers including Abdulla Riyaz, Mohamed Navaz and Mohamed Dhaoodh had met him and tried to force him to confess to the murder. He also claimed that Minister of State for Home Affairs Mohamed Fayaz had also met him and requested he confess to the crime, implying that his previous confession was due to police influence.
He also went onto allege that the sitting Judge Abdulla Didi – Vice President of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – had already picked a side on the case and that he was “heavily aligned” with the prosecution.
Humam’s defence lawyer Abdulla Haseen during the hearing requested the judge give permission for the defence to produce their own witnesses, supporting the argument that Humam had not been at the place of crime but was rather at the Henveiru Stadium.
Concluding the hearing, Judge Didi said the court would decide on whether to grant permission to the defence counsel to present their witnesses at a later date. No date was announced by the judge.