A friend of Haleemath Lamha Abdul Rahman, charged as an accomplice in the murder of Filipino nurse Mary Grace Oned Pineda, told the court on Monday that Lamha had been in a romantic relationship with Mary’s husband Marvin S. Y. Vargas, and showed no sign of sadness over Mary’s death.
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 is charged with murder with intent, while Lamha is charged as an accomplice to murder and for unauthorized possession of controlled medical substances.
All three had worked as nurses at IGMH’s ER.
The Criminal Court heard testimony from one of Lamha’s male friends on Monday, a police officer.
The state witness told the court that Lamha herself admitted to having an affair with Marvin, and that he talked to Mary in an attempt to mediate the dispute which arose between her and Lamha over the issue.
He told the court that he talked Mary out of lodging a complaint against Lamha with the IGMH. He said that his efforts led to a temporary truce, before the situation between them deteriorated again.
He said that though he never met Mary again, he heard about the fight between the two women from Lamha, who told him that Mary was trying to get Marvin deported from Maldives, and that she had resorted to self-harm to get it done.
He said that a few days after that, Lamha told him that Mary had committed suicide. He said that Lamha showed no sign of sadness when she told him about Mary’s death.
He said that Lamha had repeatedly questioned him about what would happen next.
During cross examination, the defense did not attempt to disprove the witness’ testimony, but asked whether he had shared a special relationship with Mary.
He said he did not.
NO POSITIVE ID FROM VIDEO
The court heard testimony from three state witnesses Monday. The hearing, which began in the morning, concluded close to 03:00 pm.
The first witness was a police officer involved in analyzing videos submitted as evidence in the case, which tracks the movements of two people – believed to be Lamha and Marvin – the day of Mary’s death.
The officer testified that while the analysis positively identifies the man in the videos as Marvin, they were unable to positively identify the woman as Lamha beyond reasonable doubt.
Marvin had taken Mary’s body to IGMH in an ambulance mere minutes after she had gone to home for her break from work. 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.
Marvin was arrested on October 27, 2021. And Lamha was arrested on December 16, 2021.
An autopsy on Mary showed she died from injuries to her neck and head. Examiners also found traces succinylcholine - a medication used to cause short-term paralysis as part of general anesthesia - in her blood.
Investigators found a used succinylcholine injection, along with two other restricted injections from Lamha’s apartment.
Marvin faces a life sentence if found guilty, while Lamha faces at least six years in prison.