President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has used his executive powers to commute the sentence of a minor convicted of the murder of Mohamed Anas – a young man from R. Meedhoo who was stabbed to death inside the Litus Service Center in Male’ in 2017.
Anas fled into the Litus Service Center on the night of July 31, 2017 after he was chased by eight people on four motorcycles armed with sharp-edged weapons. The assailants chased him into the center, and stabbed him to death. He sustained 24 stab wounds in the attack.
Charges were filed against eight people; seven adults and a young man whose identity has not been disclosed as he was 17 years old at the time.
The minor was acquitted by the Juvenile Court in January 2021, but the verdict was overturned upon appeal by the Hight Court in October 2022.
The court sentenced him to 18 years in prison.
President Solih reportedly used his executive powers to commute his sentence to 10 years in prison.
He remains in prison, as he still has some years left until he finishes serving the sentence.
Anas’ murder had been one of the cases investigated by Deaths and Disappearances Commission (DDCom) – a presidential commission set up by President Solih following his promise to find justice for unresolved murder cases, including Anas’ murder.
The trial against the seven remaining defendants remains in progress at the Criminal Court.
They are; Junaih Abdulla (Nannaarige, L. Gan), Hassan Mahfooz (Western Villa, S. Feydhoo), Simah Moosa (Dhafthar 1746), Ahmed Zayan (Asurumaage, Lh. Kurendhoo), Usman Shareef (M. Dhimishq, Male’), Afrah Abdul Razzaq (M. Lonumidhilige, Male’), and Mohamed Saaz (Gulfaamge, Th. Kinbidhoo).
Four of them were accused of stabbing Anas; the minor, Ahmed Zayan, Afrah Abdul Razzaq and Usman Shareef. They were charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon.
The remaining defendants – Mohamed Saaz, Junaih Abdulla, Hassan Mahfooz and Simah Moosa – allegedly drove the motorcycles – and were charged as accessories to murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon.
The police investigation into the murder uncovered Anas, who worked as a boat captain, had not been the intended target for the killing, but that the assailants mistook Anas for their target because he had been wearing similar clothing.
President Solih, whose term expires on Friday, has also used his executive powers to grant pardons to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor and Abdulla Ziyath, former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) – who were convicted of multiple corruption charges in connection to the MMPRC graft scandal.
Solih, who got elected to office in 2018 on the promise of investigating and recovering the money stolen from MMPRC, has been hit with criticism for his decision to pardon the people convicted in the case.