The Edition


Convicted killer appeals 12 year prison sentence at Supreme Court

Shahudha Mohamed
18 January 2021, MVT 18:38
Deceased Mariyam Sheereen (L) and boyfriend Mohamed Najah. Najah was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in prison. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
18 January 2021, MVT 18:38

Mohamed Najah, convicted of murdering his then-partner Mariyam Sheereen by the High Court and sentenced to 12 years in prison, appealed the verdict at the Supreme Court.

The appeal hearing is tabled at the Supreme Court for upcoming Wednesday, and will be conducted by a five member bench consisting of Judge Husnu Al Suood, Judge Azmiralda Zahir, Judge Aisha Shujoon Mohamed, Judge Mahaz Ali Zahir and Judge Dr Mohamed Ibrahim.

Sheereen's body was discovered at a construction site in the Maafannu Ward of capital city Male', in December 2009. Although Najah was initially charged for her murder, the Criminal Court acquitted him in 2015.

However, state prosecutors later appealed the case at the High Court.

During the hearings held at the Criminal Court, various witnesses had testified against Najah, alleging that he had threatened to kill Sheereen. Witnesses also noted that Sheereen was last seen entering the apartment shared by the two, the day she was reported missing.

Footage released by the Maldives Police Service also depicted Najah dragging a visibly heavy suitcase, presumably with Sheereen's body, from their apartment. Police accused him of transporting her in the boot of a taxi to the construction site.

During a hearing held at the Criminal Court, the taxi driver corroborated Police's claims, stating that he had transported Najah and a heavy suitcase to the site where Sheereen was found, further noting a foul smell that was present after Najah had left the taxi.

Due to the level of decomposition by the time Sheereen's body was discovered and lack of a postmortem examination, the presiding bench of the High Court ruled that Shereen's death could not be considered a first-degree murder, citing a lack of evidence.

However, due to the evidence present, including the testimonials against him, the court convicted Najah of manslaughter, sentencing him to 12 years of jail, and two months of fasting as penance.

Testimonials against Najah further revealed that he had a history of physical abuse against Sheereen.