Relatives of a murdered women whose body was placed in a suitcase and then dumped into rubbish at a Male’ construction site last year have requested that her alleged killer face the death penalty during an ongoing trial in the country’s Criminal Court.
Haveeru has reported that the family of the murdered woman, identified only as Shereen, had generally decided in favour of calling for the death penalty under the rules of Islamic Shariah, should suspect Mohamed Najah be found guilty of killing her.
According to the report, during the Criminal Court hearing that took place today in Male’, relatives of the victim, including her father, brother and three sisters, called for the sentence to be imposed over the phone from Lhaviyani Thun’dee Magistrate Court.
Shereen’s mother, who was present at the Criminal Court hearing in Male’, also stressed her preference for the death penalty if Najah was convicted, with Judge Abdulla Mohamed stating that three more relatives, who were unable to attend the court session, were required to provide their consent for the death penalty.
Statements are expected to be taken from these relatives at the court on a later date, the report added. Shareen’s body was discovered on January 2, 2010.
Currently, death penalties imposed within the Maldives are able to be reduced to a 25 years prison sentence by the president under the Clemency Act. In November 2010, the Criminal Court of the Maldives issued a death sentence to a person found guilty of murder. However the last person to actually be judicially executed was Hakim Didi in 1953, who was executed by firing squad after being found guilty of consipiracy to murder using black magic.
The death penalty issue has become extremely pertinent for the nation’s politicians of late with a number of amendments proposed this year to the country’s Clemency Act that outlines policy related to any possible death sentence.
on April 18, Parliament accepted an amendment presented by Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Ibrahim Muthalib requiring the death sentence to be implemented if the Supreme Court upholds an execution decision issued by itself or a lower court.
Out of the 59 present MPs, 14 declined the amendment, while three parliamentarians did not vote on either side.
MDP MPs Alhan Fahmy, Eva Abdulla, Hamid Abdul Gafoor, ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, Ilyas Labeeb, Imthiyaz Fahmy, Ibrahim Rasheed, Rugiyya Mohamed, Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed, Ahmed Rasheed, Mohamed Aslam, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and DRP MPs Ali Azim and Hussein Mohamed voted to dismiss the amendment.