Hearing held in murder suspect's case discontinued

Adhuham Mohamed is seen being brought to court for the murder trial of Qasim Hassan. Adhuham had admitted to the murder carried out on December 4, 2020. (Sun Photo/Muaviyath Anwar)

The trial of Mohamed Adhuham, charged with the murder of taxi driver Qasim Hassan, today has been discontinued after the accused failed to appoint a lawyer.

After nearly eight months to appoint a lawyer, Adhuham appeared at today’s scheduled hearing without a lawyer. Adhuham is accused of murdering Qasim in Hulhumale’ last year, in a mugging gone wrong. Adhuham had initially appealed guilty before retracting the plea. Adhuham pleaded guilty during a trial on February 12 but soon retracted the plea six days later. 

Adhuham initially chose for a state-appointed lawyer but later refused the offer after retracting his guilty plea. The court then permitted Adhuham to appoint a lawyer of his own choice. 

Adhuham, in today’s hearing, said that he was living in a “pigeon coop” with no electricity and that Maldives Corrections had not cooperated in the appointment of a lawyer. 

“I don’t have my own phone and things here. These things are prohibited here. A phone call is offered through the procedure that exists. I did not get the chance to make a phone call through the set procedure.” Said Adhuham. 

Virtual hearing held in the case of Mohamed Adhuham accused of murder on October 11, 2020.

Adhuham said that he wanted to continue with the trial, but only after he was provided all the documents related to the case. 

“I can also work with the knowledge I have of the Maldivian constitution. I have researched everything I need to know about the case.” Said Adhuham. He also noted that there was no point in appointing a lawyer if he was not provided with face to face meetings alone.

“I do not want a lawyer. I think I can also speak as well as a lawyer.” Said Adhuham. 

Virtual hearing held in the case of Mohamed Adhuham accused of murder on October 11, 2020.

The state-appointed lawyer for Adhuham currently has all the relevant documents related to the case. The lawyer also noted that work was underway to handover these documents to Corrections.

Qasim was murdered on December 3, in a horrific manner, with stab wounds to the neck. Adhuham initially admitted to the murder by saying that he had tried to mug Qasim.