Six men charged with murder of Ali Shifan deny allegations in court

The six suspects in the murder case of Ali Shifan, who was stabbed to death by a group of men in April, were produced before the Criminal Court yesterday and all of them denied charges.

A group of men arrived on motorbikes and stabbed 33 year-old Ali Shifan,of Maafannu Fairy Corner, while he was waiting outside the West Park Restaurant.

Police arrested six suspects and their names were forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office for prosecution. The six suspects were identified by the police as Ali Nabeeh, 22, of M.Nalahiyaa Manzil, Mohamed Shaifan, 18, of Male’ Dhaftharu no 3912,  Razzan Abdu Rahman, 19, of Kaanimaage house in Thulhaadhoo island of Baa Atoll,  Abdul Thilmeez, 20, of M.Thilmeez,  Mohamed Asif, 19, of Maafahi house inKurendhoo island of Lhaviyani Atoll and Mohamed Mishaan Abdul Haadhy, 20, of M.Silver Nest.

Today at court the prosecution lawyer submitted the charges against the six suspects and the judge determined that they were serious criminal offenses under the constitution and inquired as to whether the respondents would like to have a lawyer with the assistance of the state, which the six refused.

According to local media reports, the suspects requested the judge grant them the opportunity to appoint lawyers, and the judge gave them a period of three days to do so.

Newspaper ‘Haveeru’ reported that the judge told the six men that they had to produce witnesses in their defense to the next hearing.

The judge also said witnesses from the prosecution will be produced to the court on the same day, reported Haveeru.

A friend of Shifan told Minivan News at the time that the victim was attacked while he was waiting in front of West Park Restaurant for a friend.

‘’He was having a coffee inside West Park Restaurant and went out because a friend was coming to see him,’’ he said. ‘’He was waiting with another friend and this group shows up with sharp weapons.’’

‘’It was a long bladed knife and he is a very slim man. He was stabbed from behind and it went straight through his back and came out the other side,” the source said, claiming that Shifan had been stabbed twice.


Judge claims “suspicious issues” with evidence reason for alleged drug lord’s aquittal

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed has cited “suspicious issues” relating to the evidence presented by the Prosecutor General’s office as reason for the acquittal of Hussein Mohamed.

Hussein was labelled by the government as one of the top six drug dealers in the country, prior to the court finding him innocent of  importing drugs. He was arrested at the airport on April 9, 2009, where police alleged he was awaiting the arrival of a couple carrying a drug shipment.

Judge Mohamed said the evidence presented was inadequate to rule Hussein guilty.

Hussein was the first to be arrested of the six people President Mohamed Nasheed has previously labeled as the top six drug dealers in the country.

Deputy Prosecutor General Hussein Shameem described the verdict as “regrettable”, adding that the PG’s office would consider its options once it received the case report from the court.

The second of the six arrested, Adam Naseer, was also ruled innocent by the Criminal Court after police searched his home in Addu Atoll on June 30, 2009, where they found over Rf6 million (US$461,500) in cash and a tin containing drugs outside his house.

Naseer was arrested several days later on July 2, 2009.  However, the Criminal Court ruled that he was innocent because evidence presented by the Prosecutor General’s office was inadequate, and failed to prove that the money found with Naseer was obtained through drug dealing.