Suspects accused of stabbing a foreigner in the neck in Laamu atoll Fonadhoo have been released yesterday.
The prosecution charged eight Bangladeshis in connection with the murder of Mohamed Hassanullah on March 2017. The man was found three days after his death.
While one suspect was charged with intentional homicide, the remaining seven were charged with aiding and abetting in the murder.
The Criminal Court ruled today that, although the two men accused of intentional homicide pleaded guilty to the charge during the investigation period while they were remanded, the two men had different accounts of the incident.
The accused said that they were repeatedly tortured by the police at various stages of the investigation which cannot be ruled out due to lack of evidence. Therefore the statements made by the accused during the investigation are questionable.
According to the judgment, only one eyewitness had come forward during the investigation. However, he cannot be produced in court because he has a disability. The islanders also testified that this individual was a pathologically dishonest and he cannot provide a valid statement as there is no other evidence to support his claim, the judgment said.
The judgment also said that important procedures during the investigation into the case were left incomplete. The judgment said the accused's call logs were not obtained and it was unclear whether or not the police tried to obtain forensic evidence from the clothes and other belongings of the defendants.
Therefore, the eight accused were found not guilty of the murder charges.