Court to issue verdict in Ihavandhoo ice plant murder in March

Sumon Miah: He has been charged with the murder of Ismail Umar (Isse) at the ice plant in H. A. Ihavandhoo on June 16, 2017.

Criminal Court is scheduled to issue its verdict in the murder of a man who was found killed at an ice plant in HA. Ihavandhoo in March.

Ismail Umar (Isse), 54, Athireege, Lh. Hinnavaru, was found murdered inside the ice plant where he worked as a mechanic at on June 16, 2017.

His colleague and roommate, Sumon Miah, a Bangladesh national, was charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon in connection to the case.

Sumon had confessed to the crime both to investigators and at court, explaining in detail how he killed Isse.

However, on the day the court had been scheduled to hear the closing arguments, Sumon retracted his earlier confession and denied he killed Isse.

The court postponed the presentation of closing arguments following the development, but Sumon did not present any evidence or witnesses in his defense.

The state and the defense presented their closing arguments to court on Thursday.

After listening to the closing arguments, Judge Ali Adam said he would issue his verdict within March. He said that if the court found Sumon guilty, he would issue his sentence after consulting with Isse’s heirs.

Sumon, who is not fluent in Dhivehi language, had talked at court with the assistance of a translator.

The translator said Sumon refused the charge against him. And when asked by the judge for an explanation regarding the decision to retract his earlier confession, Sumon said through the translator that he made his earlier confession under duress from the police, who threatened to have him held in the same cell as the other two suspects arrested in connection to the case. However, the other two suspects – who were charged as accessories for hiding the murder – were released after the state failed to prove the charges against them.

Three police officers who investigated the murder appeared at court as witnesses for the state. They were asked if they coerced or abused Sumon in any way. They denied any form of coercion.