17-year-old murder suspect to remain out of jail, in home confinement

Police lines bars access to the location where a 13-year-old boy was found murdered in Hulhumale' Phase II on June 22, 2021.

The Juvenile Court has sustained its decision to transfer the 17-year-old boy charged in the murder of a 13-year-old boy in the Maldivian capital in June from jail to home confinement. 

The 13-year-old boy was reported missing by his family on June 20. The police were investigating the case as a possible kidnapping, when the Hulhumale' police received a report on the evening of June 21 of a child being tortured in the restricted area of Hulhumale' Phase II, prompting the police to search the area.

His body was found dumped in a suitcase in the lagoon northeast of Hulhumale’ Phase II at 02:38 am on June 22.

Two people were charged in connection to the murder; Ibrahim Zihan, 27, and a 17-year-old boy whose identity has not been disclosed as he is a minor. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office requested for the suspect to be transferred back to jail during a hearing at the Juvenile Court on Thursday. However, the court sustained its decision to transfer the suspect to home confinement, citing that the circumstances guiding its original decision to move him out of jail remained unchanged. 

The Juvenile Court had previously ordered for the 17-year-old boy - charged with voluntary murder - to be remanded in jail pending the outcome of his trial.  

However, the court reviewed its decision, and ordered for him to be transferred to home confinement back in November. 

The court made the decision based on a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM), stating that the juvenile detention facility in Asseyri Prison in K. Hinmafushi was unfit for detention of minors.   

HRCM said the facility does not provide minors with the rights and protections guaranteed to them under the Maldivian Constitution and international laws and conventions, and instructed Maldives Correctional Service for an immediate cease detention of juveniles at the prison.   

Meanwhile, Zihan – who had previously been ordered to jail pending the outcome of his trial – was brought before the Criminal Court for a review of his remand on Thursday. The court decided to sustain its decision to be keep him jailed. 

Ibrahim Zihan, Bageechaage, N. Landhoo.

He has been pressed with multiple charges in addition to murder. The charges against him are: 

  • One count of voluntary homicide 
  • Five counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor  
  • One count of drugging a minor for sex 
  • One count of grooming a minor for sex 
  • One count of unlawful restraint of a person 
  • One count of abuse of a human corpse 
  • One count of recruiting a minor for a crime

Zihan faces approximately 100 years in prison if found guilty of all charges.