The president denied thwarting the investigation into the missing journalist, "who is now dead."
It is almost four years since Ahmed Rilwan disappeared.
Ibrahim Rasheed was severely beaten during a police crackdown on February 8, 2012.
Mohamed Abdul Rahman was charged with terrorism for participating in a foreign war.
The 22-year-old man was stabbed in the head.
The arrests were made in connection with the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Malé last month.
The seven defendants pleaded not guilty at Thursday's pre-trial hearing.
Judge Adam Arif reprimanded the authorities for glaring failures in the investigation and prosecution.
The government says it is not responsible for his disappearance.
Defence lawyers argued the murder charges were unclear.
The house belongs to the family of a fugitive wanted in connection with a graft scandal.
No arrests have been made so far.
There were 355 sexual offence cases reported to police in 2017. Figures for 2018 are unavailable.
Ahmed Zubair went to Syria with his wife and two kids.
Two vacancies remain on the High Court judges’ bench even with the new hires.
The former dictator faces between 17 and 20 years in jail if convicted.
It is almost four years since the abduction of Maldives Independent journalist Ahmed Rilwan.