The family of murder victim Ahmed Jailam Shakir has welcomed an Interpol red notice issued to locate a suspect and a High Court order for the criminal court to accept the case.
The red notice was issued for 19-year-old Mohamed Humaid, who had fled to Sri Lanka in late February. The Interpol site states that Humaid is wanted for prosecution on charges of “gang murder, gang assault with sharp weapons.”
Jailam’s mother, Moomina Ahmed, told Minivan News today that she is happy about the development as the suspect was dangerous.
“I think if the suspects remain free they are a danger to the society too. So he should be found soon,” Moomina said.
Jailam was stabbed numerous times by two men armed with machetes while he was sitting outside his house, eyewitnesses told Minivan News.
Three other suspects have been charged with murder in connection with the 23-year-old Jailam’s fatal stabbing on February 21.
The Prosecutor General’s (PG) office had charged the suspects under the Intimidation and Possession of Dangerous Weapons and Sharp Instruments Act, but the criminal court’s registrar refused to accept the case, contending that the PG office’s interpretation of 2010 law was incorrect. The exact charges have not been disclosed to the media yet.
PG office media official Mohamed Hisham Wajeeh said the office did not understand the criminal court’s objection as the registrar had not offered much detail.
“It is an issue regarding substance of the law so it is for the judge to make a decision on it, not the court’s registrar,” Hisham said.
The case was complicated due to the involvement of multiple suspects, he said, and criticised the criminal court for revealing details of charges to local media. “I think it is very unethical for them to do so, I do not think this occurs anywhere else in the world either,” he said.
Upon appeal by the PG office, the High Court ordered the lower court to accept the case if it is filed within seven days. Hisham said the court has since decided to hear the case, but hearings have not commenced yet.
Moomina meanwhile expressed appreciation for the PG office’s efforts, but said she remained unsatisfied.
“I’m glad the High Court overturned the criminal court refusal to accept the case. But my hope is that the process of prosecuting the suspects will go more quickly. It has been three months since my son was killed but so far the trial has not yet begun,” Moomina said.
She added that the authorities should punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law. “There is no punishment I can give that can bring my son back,” she said.
A 20-year-old suspect was reportedly arrested on March 10 whilst two other suspects, aged 19 and 24, were taken into police custody with arrest warrants on March 3.
The criminal court extended the remand detention of the latter to 15 days.
Since 2001, Maldives has seen 42 murders including Jailam’s. Prosecution was completed in just a fraction of the cases.
Jailam’s murder occurred two months after Ahmed Mafaz, 28, was killed last December. In late March, the police launched a joint security operation with the army following the the murder of a 29-year-old man in Malé.
On June 16, a 19-year-old victim of an assault in Addu City died while undergoing treatment for injuries. Hussain Shiar’s fatal stabbing was the sixth murder in 2015. The police revealed today that four suspects have been arrested this week in connection with Shiar’s murder, including two 20-year-old men, a 22-year-old man, and 24-year-old man.
All four suspects have criminal records and are being held in remand detention.