The suspect accused of murdering a local youth, Haris Abdul Qafoor, in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale last September denied the charges in court Wednesday, while the prosecution declared a long list of evidence against him.
Haris Abdul Qafoor, 24, of Gaafu Alif atoll Dhaandhoo island, was stabbed eight times in a secluded, dead-end lane lined with trees In Hulhumale. According to witnesses, he was attacked by men on motorcycles, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
The suspect arrested and indicted for his murder is Yameen Rasheed of Fuvahmulah, who is charged with first degree murder with a sharp object. The prosecution proclaimed during the preliminary hearing at the Criminal Court that they have put forward 17 secret witnesses and 13 documents of written evidence against Yameen. According to the state, the secret witnesses include people who were at the scene of the crime, and people who witnessed arguments between Haris and Yameen days before the former’s murder.
In response to the prosecution’s statement, Yameen Rasheed declared that he objected to his charges.
The prosecution also presented two new documents on Wednesday: the scene of the crime officers’ report and investigation report. While the state said that there had been a delay in receiving the reports earlier, which had been informed to the court in writing, Yameen Rasheed’s defence lawyer Adam Asif protested against the development. Pointing out that evidence must be submitted to court at the time of indictment as per the Criminal Procedure Code, Asif demanded to know why the defendant was charged before the prosecution received the investigation report. Protesting that the reports cannot be accepted as evidence, Asif also questioned whether Yameen’s investigation had been completed.
Judge Adam Arif responded to Asif’s objection, noting that Yameen is currently detained at a remand centre, which entails that his investigation was over. The judge added that the court looks into whether investigations were completed in cases of defendants held at remand prisons.
The prosecution similarly maintained that Yameen’s investigation was complete and that it had sufficient evidence to convict him of Haris’ murder.
However, the prosecution revealed that evidences suggest that Yameen had had a partner involved in the crime. Lawyer Asif again raised doubts, saying that suspected involvement of accomplices indicate an unfinished investigation. He appealed to the judge to lighten Yameen’s remand.
The prosecution countered that the investigation into Yameen Rasheed’s part in the crime was complete, to which Asif requested the judge to reject any new evidence submitted later.
The two-hour long hearing Wednesday mainly focused on discussions for the prosecution to hand over certain documents yet not received by the defence. Asif noted that he had not received some of over 100 documents the prosecution had submitted against Yameen Rasheed, to which the state had agreed. While prosecutors explained that the withheld documents were papers usually issued upon request by the defence, Judge Adam Arif requested the state to henceforth issue all papers that could be released to the defence in advance. He made the same request of the Prosecutor General’s Office as well, noting that similar issues had occurred in court previously and was time consuming.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News