Haleemath Lamha, charged as an accomplice in the murder of IGMH nurse Mary Grace Oned Pineda, has stated that Maldives Correctional Service’s efforts to facilitate bedrest for her had led to more difficulties.
Mary was killed in her apartment on the first floor of Ma. Udhuheykokaage in Male’ City in the afternoon of October 19, 2021.
Her husband, Marvin S. Y. Vargas, 30, was charged with murder with intent in connection to her death.
Lamha, who was having an affair with Marvin, was charged as an accomplice to the murder.
At a hearing held today to review the court’s decision to remand Lamha in custody pending outcome of the trial – Lamha’s attorney had requested she be granted release.
The defense had backed their request with multiple reasons. This included doctor’s instructions for Lamha to bedrest in light of her health condition which, the defense in a previous hearing, has underscored to be difficult in prison.
Responding to this, the prosecution stated that Corrections had facilitated easements for Lamha in carrying out her laundry as doing it herself obstructs bed resting.
Lamha, in a previous hearing, had complained over difficulties in doing her laundry in bucket by filling it with water. Citing Corrections, the prosecution had instructed to utilize the bucket by filling it with water to an extent it is not too heavy.
At today’s hearing, Lamha stated that Correction’s efforts to facilitate bed resting for her had led to more difficulties.
Highlighting that Corrections had given her water hose measuring approximately in two feet – Lamha said that it was difficult to fill the bucket with water after connecting the hose with the tap.
“Cellmates are also complaining due to difficulties because of the hose. They are also nicknaming me based on the hose. I have not heeded any benefits from the hose,” she had said.
Speaking further, Lamha stressed that it was difficult to bend down to wash dishes and such as the sink installed is below knee level.
“Because people use social media within this place, I have been labeled as someone who has actually committed this (the crime). As a person that needs no investigation. Therefore, I do not receive much help from that place even,” she added.
After listening to both sides, the judge presiding over the case had scheduled a hearing for May 12, where a decision would be announced regarding Lamha’s custodial status.
Apart from being an accomplice to murder with intent, Lamha is charged with knowingly taking unauthorized control over the property of another after police found two syringes from IGMH which she had not been authorized to take out of the hospital hidden in an envelope in her bedroom.
She is also charged with carrying out an activity that requires permission from an authority, without obtaining permission from the relevant authority after police found a type of drug issued only for the use of hospitals and health facilities during a search of her bedroom.
She faces a minimum of six years and four months in prison should she be convicted on all three charges.
It had been Marvin who had taken Mary’s body to IGMH in an ambulance on October 19. He initially claimed her death as a suicide by hanging, and later changed his story and said she had suddenly collapsed.
Police found the death suspicious and opened an investigation into the case.
Police arrested Marvin on October 27, 2021 and Lamha on December 16, 2021.
After conducting an autopsy on Mary’s body, the Police announced that they do not believe Mary died of suicide by hanging, and that the postmortem examination revealed the cause of death to be blunt injuries.
Both Marvin and Lamha had also worked as nurses at IGMH.