The stepfather of a woman on trial for beating her toddler to death has been charged with incest in a separate case.
Ismail Rauf of Meemu Atoll Dhiggaru Island is reported to have sexually and physically abused Afiya Mohamed and her three-year-old son Mohamed Ibthihaal.
Ibthihaal was found dead in their home in Vaavu Rakeedhoo with signs of severe physical abuse in January 2015. Afiya has been under arrest since and has confessed to the child’s murder. Rauf was arrested in April, on suspicion of abusing Ibthihaal
Rauf is now on trial for sexually abusing a child he had fathered. If found guilty of incest, Rauf could be jailed for up to 25 years.
The first hearing was scheduled for 1pm today, but cancelled because Rauf is ill with chicken pox.
Chief inspector of police Abdulla Satheeh has said that inter-generational violence and state negligence led to Ibthihaal’s death.
Rauf had been banished once before for abusing a step child, reported to be Afiya. He is accused of abusing Ibthihaal when the toddler had been under the care of his maternal grandmother from the age of one.
Seven months before his death, Ibthihaal was brought back to Rakeedhoo to live with his mother, where his psychological and physical abuse continued.
Police said marks on the Ibthihaal’s neck indicated that he had been strangled. Police also found swelling on the right side of his forehead, scrapes on his face, wounds on his right ear and scars all over his body. Some of his ribs were broken as well.
Satheeh said Ibthihaal’s death was caused by “major injuries” while some older scars remained unhealed.
Additional reporting by Shafaa Hameed