MALDIVES: COURT OVERTURNS DEATH SENTENCE OF MAN AFTER FOUR YEARS
March 21, 2013: High Court in Maldives overturned the death sentence of a man on death row for the past four years.
Mohamed Gasim of Gaaf Alif Atoll Maamendhoo Tharividhaage was sentenced to death by the Criminal Court in 2008 for the murder of Mohamed Shihab in 2006.
Three others had also received the death sentence for Shihabâs murder. However, the High Court only ruled on Gasimâs sentence on Thursday (March 21).
While overturning the lower courtâs sentence, the Judges bench observed that the testimonies of three key witnesses were taken in writing which denied the defence the opportunity to question the witnesses. Hence, the defence had lost the right to question witnesses in accordance with the constitution, the bench noted.
In addition, the Judges bench pointed out that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses had failed to link the murder to Gasim and the defenceâs request to present witnesses had also been ignored.
Hence, the High Court ordered the lower court to re-open the case against Gasim as the accused had lost the right to question prosecution witnesses and the chance to present witnesses on his behalf. (Sources: haveeru.com.mv, 21/03/2013)