Appeal over acquittal of suspect in fatal sexual assault on Ziyadha begins

Ibrahim Shah. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Azif)

The appeal proceedings over the acquittal of Ibrahim Shah – the main suspect in the fatal 2015 sexual assault of his wife Ziyadha Naeem – has begun at the High Court.

Ziyadha, 37, a resident of G. Dh. Thinadhoo, was brutally sexually assaulted and beaten on December 3, 2015. She succumbed to her injuries while under treatment at the intensive care unit of IGMH on December 28, 2015.

A postmortem conducted revealed she sustained multiple injuries, and determined the cause of death to be an intracranial hemorrhage.

Her husband Ibrahim Shah, who Ziyadha named as her assailant to doctors and nurses during her time at the hospital, was pressed with four charges following her death; marital rape, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and possession of pornographic material.

However, the state failed to prove any of the charges against him, and the Criminal Court issued him a full acquittal on March 21.

Ziyadha Naeem, 37. (File Photo)

The court’s decision was appealed with the High Court by the Prosecutor General’s Office on April 8, and the appeal proceedings began this Sunday.

The original trial had been closed to the pressed at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office to minimize the psychological impact details of the case could have on Ziyadha and Shah’s children.

The Prosecutor General’s Office, in a statement this Sunday, announced that it has requested the High Court for the appeal hearings to also be closed.

Ziyadha had been sexually assaulted while the couple had been separated.

She initially sought medical care from Dr. Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in Thinadhoo, which advised her to travel to the capital, Male’ City, immediately. She sought medical care from a private clinic, Dr. Yeganegi's Clinic, in Male’, from where she was referred to State-run IGMH.

It had been officials from IGMH who had alerted the authorities to the assault.