The High Court on Tuesday upheld capital punishment for one of two culprits convicted of murdering Hussain Waheed with a sharp weapon in capital Male', in December 2013.
The Juvenile Court passed the death sentence in 2015 on the two individuals, who were minors at the time of the crime. The High Court upheld the verdict for one of the culprits in November 2017. While the two were of age at the time of their sentencing, their identities are protected as per the Child Protection Act.
Following the appeals, the High Court read the verdict for the second culprit on Tuesday, upholding the Juvenile Court's death sentence.
The court stated that witness testimonies proved that the individual had driven to the crime scene on the back of a motorcycle and stabbed Hussain Waheed. It also noted that doctors' testimonies and Waheed's death certificate showed that his passing was caused by the injuries he sustained from the attack.
Highlighting that the weapon was a knife, the High Court stated that such an object could be used for murder, and that the attacker's murderous intention could be deduced from the fact that Waheed was stabbed in the chest. The verdict also stated that intentions, crime scene, and the manner in which the crime is carried out must be taken into account in murder cases, as per Islamic Sharia.
Touching upon the witnesses put forward by the prosecutors, the verdict stated that the testimonies of two witnesses were rejected as they had criminal records. However, the verdict read that there were no grounds to doubt the integrity of the rest of the witnesses, and that their testimonies proved that the defendant had stabbed Waheed.
The sentence also noted that Islamic law holds everyone who has reached puberty accountable for their actions despite being minors, and that anyone aged fifteen is regarded as having reached puberty. While the defendant was 17 years old at the time of the crime, the court stated that Maldivian law holds individuals above the age of 15 accountable for any criminal offences they commit.
The court further noted that all inheritors of Hussain Waheed have declared for the death penalty.
Hence, the judges bench comprising Hussain Shaheed, Abdul Rauf Ibrahim and Shujau Usman, declared to uphold the Juvenile Court's verdict of capital punishment.
Chief Judge Shujau Usman presided over the case.
As per Maldivian law, capital punishment can be executed only after exhausting all the stages of the appeal process.