Yameen’s father accuses police of destroying forensic evidence

Yameen’s father accuses police of destroying forensic evidence
July 09 14:10 2017

The police have destroyed forensic evidence gathered from the scene of liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed’s murder, the victim’s father has alleged.

Briefing the press Thursday about the family’s lawsuit against the police over the failure to investigate death threats sent to his son, Hussain Rasheed, 54, said his information came from “a very reliable source”.

Rasheed said he could not provide further details and urged the authorities to investigate the claim.

“This is not the first time I had such a suspicion, because even on the first day, the crime scene in our home was cleaned, washed and painted over in front of the police, I had raised that issue before,” he said.

“I believe that such things would prevent reaching justice.”

Rasheed reiterated the family’s call for foreign involvement in the murder probe. Yameen had been receiving death threats since 2010, he told reporters.

“Yameen had been informing the police of these threats. But sadly, police had not taken any protective measures until the day he was murdered. And we saw no action being taken against the people who were making these threats,” he said.

“Because of this, I filed a matter against the police to court, because I believe my son was murdered because of their inactivity, for failing to take the required action.”

The lawsuit was filed on May 3 and the civil court accepted the case after “making many excuses” on May 23.

According to local media, lawyers from the Attorney General’s office objected to conducting the trial without classifying evidence.

But Rasheed stressed that the lawsuit concerns the police response to death threats sent to Yameen.

“This is not about the murder investigation, this is about what happened before, about the threats he received before. I don’t believe that this would have any relation to the investigation they are conducting now,” he said.

The 29-year-old human rights defender, satirist and IT professional, was found with 35 stab wounds in the stairwell of his apartment building in the early hours of April 23.

Suspects were arrested a week later and in mid-June, the police revealed the identities of three young men accused of committing the brutal murder.

But their cases have yet to be forwarded for prosecution.

Rasheed said the police met with the family twice since the murder but did not share any substantial information.

“We accept the work of the police. But so far, they have failed to give us any results,” he said.

“We are aware that they have arrested people actively involved in the murder, but we also want to know the people who planned, executed, sponsored this and find out their motive for doing so. We have so far not gotten that.”

He went on to question the motive of the three suspects.

“I don’t believe there was any personal enmity between them and Yameen. Because he’s not the kind of person to have debts, he didn’t take drugs, didn’t belong to any gangs or even a political party,” he said.

“He didn’t argue with them, he had a completely different personality to them, he lived a life separate from theirs. So I didn’t believe that a group of people from a different gang and who committed different kinds of crimes would just come and do it on their own because they would have no reason to.

“People wouldn’t do things without a reason. That’s human nature. I can’t think of a reason the suspects in custody would kill him, so if they killed him, why did they do it? That’s important to know, even for the safety of others. Why did they kill a person that had nothing to do with them, that’s very important to find out.”