Criminal Court finds Nazaha guilty of murder

The Criminal Court today sentenced Mariyam Nazaha, 22, of Henveriu Bainkendige, charged with murdering her ex-husband, to life imprisonment and ordered her to fast for two months.

According to the Criminal Court, Nazaha admitted that she attacked her ex-husband, Hassan Shahid, with a knife on June 22, 2010 at around 3:00pm.

The medico-legal report stated that Shahid had died that at 4:15pm on the same day from injuries caused by the stabbing, said the Criminal Court.

Air and blood gathered in the left side of Shahid’s back resulted in his death, the report stated.

Delivering the verdict, Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed ordered Nazaha to fast for two months for repentance and to remain in prison for 25 years.

Nazaha was not sentenced to death because out of all the heirs of Shahid only one wished to avenge his death with hers; under Islamic shariah all heirs must request the death penalty for the court to sentence the accused to execution.

In June last year, a witness told Minivan News that he saw the victim run out of Baikendi in the Henveiru district of Male’ and enter a nearby shop and ask the shopkeeper to call the police as he had been stabbed.

“At first people in the shop thought he was joking, but then he took his hands from the wound and showed them the blood,” said the source. “He was stabbed once in the lower back.”

He said Nazaha’s ex-husband often visited Nazaha’s house to see their child but was never allowed inside, adding that the incident may have been the result of a court ruling that time regarding the child’s guardianship.

At the trial, Nazaha’s lawyer argued that she exhibited “battered woman syndrome” and should therefore be acquitted.

Prior to murdering her ex-husband, Nazaha had allegedly filed several reports of harassment and violence by Shahid with the Maldives Police Service, and with the Gender Department at the Ministry of Health and Family.