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Yameen Rasheed's murder: verdict hearing slated for Jan 2020

Ahmed Aiham
25 November 2019, MVT 20:46
Transparency Maldives' book on slain blogger Yameen Rasheed. FILE PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
25 November 2019, MVT 20:46

Criminal Court on Monday scheduled the verdict hearing for the trial over slain blogger Yameen Rasheed to January 30, 2020.

Yameen, an IT professional, prematurely lost his life on April 23, 2017, when he was brutally stabbed over 35 times by religious extremists in the stairwell of his home.

The state charged six individuals with first-degree murder over Yameen's death: Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Ahmed Zihan Ismail, Mohamed Dhifran, Hassan Shifaz, Thaaif Ismail Rasheed and Hussain Ziyad.

Three out of the five witnesses for the state refused to testify, leaving two police officers who searched through the residence of Ismail Rasheed and Hussain Ziyad, respectively, to testify against the defendants.

During the hearing held Monday, state prosecutors requested the court to move forward with the trial in light of the secret witnesses' decision to refrain from testifying.

The police officer who inspected and compiled the report on Ismail Rasheed's residence, testified that a shirt, pants, a hat, laptop and a phone were found in his room.

Moreover, as Ziyad's legal team did not challenge the report compiled by the police officer who searched the residence, the court did not hear a testimonial statement from the officer.

Defence to testify in December

According to presiding Judge Ali Rasheed, three hearings will be slated for December as defendants Ismail Rasheed, Zihan and Haisham brought forward witnesses in their defence. Ismail Rasheed's defence will be heard first.

Moreover, the court noted that hearings will be conducted during the court recess which begins in December.

The court also scheduled a hearing on January 15, for both parties to issue their summary statements.

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