Three defendants charged over the death of 7-year-old Rawshan Jian entered a plea of guilty at the Criminal Court on Thursday.
Rawshan Jian was struck by a cement bag that fell from the fifth floor of the Nalahiya Manzil construction site, managed by W Construction, in capital Male' on December 16, 2018. She succumbed to her injuries the next day while being treated in the intensive care unit at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
The six individuals charged with Jian's death include four Indian nationals and two Maldivians. During the first hearing held on Thursday, Rajjav Ali, Muthumani Ramachandhran and Kechahilal Chauhan confessed to their involvement in the incident.
The trial is presided over by Judge Ali Rasheed Hussain.
Ali was operating the winch lift that had caused the cement bag to tear and fall. Although Ali admitted to his negligence, with the help of a translator, he maintained that he did not do it on purpose.
Ramachandhran pleaded guilty and confessed to have issued the order to hoist the cement bag up, although he too stated he did not have intent to harm anyone.
The third party that pleaded guilty, Chauhan, was one of the two personnel present at the time the incident took place.
According to the criminal procedure, the three people will be sentenced through the fast-track programme by Judge Ali Rasheed on Monday.
Ali is charged with criminal negligence, Ramachandhran as an accessory to negligence, while Chauhan is charged with failure to issue a prior warning to a person under imminent danger.
Having plead guilty as opposed to entering a plea of innocence and then being declared guilty by the court, means Ali's sentence is reduced from six years imprisonment to four years and six months, while Ramachandhran's sentence is now incarceration for two years, four months and 24 days instead of three years, two months and 12 days. Chauhan will be sentenced to 27 days in prison as opposed to a month and six days if found guilty by extended trial.
The remaining three defendants, Gulan Mahamadhu, Moosa Hassan and Adam Shafeeg entered a plea of innocence, with the two Maldivians stating their wish to face trial once they have acquired legal representation.
As all three pleaded not guilty, the state prosecutor has listed 24 witnesses against Gulam and 31 witnesses against Hassan and Shafeeg.