Criminal Court, on Sunday, sentenced Sumon Miah, the Bangladeshi national charged with Hawwa Zuha's murder, up to 15 years in prison.
Sumon was charged with Zuha's murder based on allegations that he strangled her to death amidst a conflict between the two, leaving her on the road afterwards where she was found.
Judge Ibrahim Ali, who was presiding over Sunday's hearing, stated that Sumon confessed to strangling Zuha during the Police investigation and in court as well.
Although Sumon denied this later in the trial, Judge Ibrahim stated that he cannot take back the confession as per Supreme Court's statement that the defendant cannot retract a confession in a crime where someone else's rights were infringed.
The judge ruled the crime as first-degree murder, referring to the statements of the doctor who attended Zuha's case. Since the doctor confirmed that she died of strangulation and suffocation, the judge stated that Sumon killed deliberately.
Furthermore, Judge Ibrahim declared that the evidence against Sumon proves his guilt without a shadow of a doubt.
Although the Penal Code lists 10 years of imprisonment for the crime, the state requested the bench to increase Sumon's punishment and incarcerate him for 15 years, due to the nature of how he committed the crime.
Noting that Zuha's next of kin did not wish for capital punishment, the judge stated that the family's wishes will be taken into consideration in delivering the verdict.
In addition to his 15-year prison sentence, the judge ordered Sumon to pay MVR 100,000 as blood money to the victim's kinsfolk within a period of one month and imposed a penance of fasting consecutively for two months.