The criminal court has acquitted the step-grandson of involvement in the January 2012 murder of Ali Hassan ‘Ayyube’, an alleged sorcerer from the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll.
A judge ruled Monday that there was not enough evidence to prove charges of accessory to murder against Ibrahim Waseem.
Waseem was among five people, including three minors, charged over the brutal killing.
Two of the three minors were found guilty and sentenced to death in March 2013. The third minor was acquitted.
The fifth suspect, Mohamed Fauzan, was also acquitted in November 2014.
Hassan, 76 years, was found with multiple stab wounds in an uninhabited house on the southern island.
Describing the injuries, an island council official said Hassan’s neck and stomach had been cut open. “There were deep stab wounds to the chest and back, revealing the bones. The intestines were visible from a slash to the stomach,” he said.
Kudahuvadhoo islanders claim that Hassan was unpopular in the community because of his alleged practice of sorcery, a claim his family has denied.
He was accused of using sorcery on a 37-year-old woman who was reported missing in December 2011, and whose body was found in the island’s lagoon later that morning.
Her body was bleeding from an injury between her nose and mouth upon recovery, as if she had been punched or hit, the island council claimed at the time.
But the police dismissed the case saying that they had not found any incriminating injuries on the body and were not treating the incident as suspicious.