Shiaau’s murder: Order issued to protect evidence

Ali Shaahil, 22, Finfenmaage, F. Nilandhoo who was arrested in connection to the brutal murder of a woman at H. Sheereen Villa in Male' City on August 7, 2022.

Criminal Court, on Thursday, has issued an order to protect the evidence in the trial of Ali Shaahil charged with the brutal murder of Shiaau Mohamed Saeed, a young musician in an apartment in the Maldivian capital in August last year.

Shiaau Mohamed Saeed, 22, was found killed and dismembered in an apartment on the ninth floor of H. Sheereen Villa on August 6, 2022.

Ali Shaahil, 22, a local skater, was arrested from the scene of the crime.

Shaahil was charged with five offenses in connection to the case, including murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon, possession of pornography and using cannabis. Two of the charges have not been disclosed by the state.

Criminal Court is holding Shaahil’s trial behind closed doors.

In a statement following a hearing on Thursday, the court said Shaahil had not talked at today’s hearing either, adding that the court has not noted any disability that hinders him from responding.

Meanwhile, an order to protect the evidence submitted to the trial was issued at Thursday’s hearing.

The order will only allow Shaahil to review the evidence at the court itself.

Next in the trial will be Shaahil response to the charges against him after reviewing the evidence.

Notably, the Attorney General’s Office (AG Office) has appointed two lawyers for Shaahil; both of whom Shaahil refused to communicate and cooperate with. Subsequently, the office has decided against appointing any additional lawyers for him.

Police had taken months to complete the investigation into Shiaau’s murder.

Police said Shaahil, while he responded to questions from investigators, refused to speak specifically about the murder.

While the autopsy confirmed the injuries inflicted on Shiaau - both before and after her death - had been deliberate, and the police recovered weapons used in the murder, the investigation had suffered setbacks due to the lack of a clear motive for the crime.

Police later said that they had unlocked Shaahil’s phone and expected to recover enough evidence from the phone to establish a motive.