Mafaz jailed pending end of appeal of acquittal in Nadheem’s murder

Mohamed Mafaz Hussain Saleem attends a High Court hearing on June 13, 2024.

Mohamed Mafaz Hussain Saleem, the prime suspect in the 2017 murder of Nadheem Abdul Raheem (Nadey), has been jailed pending the outcome of the appeal over his acquittal in the case.

Nadheem, 24, HA. Thakandhoo, was stabbed while sitting inside the Terminal Café in Male’ City on July 27, 2017. He died from his injuries two days later, on July 29, 2017.

Four people were charged in connection to the murder. They are:

  • Mohamed Mafaz Hussain Saleem, G. Shaaraaz, K. Male’
  • Ali Nifaz, Vidhaathari, L. Gan
  • Hussain Shamin, Samantha, R. Innamaadhoo
  • Mohamed Karam Suhail, Havaas, GA. Gemanafushi

Meanwhile, the case against a fifth suspect, a minor, was dismissed by the Juvenile Court in 2018.

Mafaz was charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon, while the others were charged as accessories.

However, all four were acquitted by the Criminal Court on November 14, 2022, citing lack of evidence.

The state appealed the decision with the High Court, and filed a motion to have Mafaz jailed pending the outcome of the appeal.

On Thursday, the High Court granted the state’s petition.

The decision was made with the unanimous consensus of all three judges in the bench overseeing the case; the court’s chief judge Hussain Shaheed, and judges Hassan Mazeed and Mohamed Saleem.

Mafaz had been arrested three times since his acquittal in 2022, in cases ranging from drugs, to obstruction of law enforcement, to possession of a sharp-edged weapon.

He is on trial in two separate cases at the Criminal Court.

The court made the decision to have him held in jail pending the outcome of the appeal, citing that his criminal history offers reasonable grounds to determine that he poses a possible risk to society if he remains free.

Back on December 26, 2023, the High Court made a similar decision with regard to Nifaz, but found no grounds to jail the other two suspects.

At the Criminal Court trial, which lasted six years, some of the state’s witnesses in the case had later recanted their testimonies, while some had refused to give testimony.

Serial gang attacks had taken place in Male’ City after some of the witnesses testified. However, the rumors of a link between the testimony and attacks were never officially confirmed by authorities.