The High Court has upheld the Juvenile Court’s verdict to pass capital punishment on two men convicted of murdering Abdul “Bobby” Muheeth with a sharp weapon in capital Male.
The two perpetrators found guilty of murdering Muheeth in an alley in front of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury in February 2012 had been minors at the time but are now aged over eighteen. The Juvenile Court’s verdict on the two boys in May 2013 marked the first time the court put perpetrators on the death row.
Following the duo’s appeal, the High Court announced its decisions separately for the two perpetrators on Tuesday, upholding the lower court’s sentences.
The two were proven guilty of first degree murder based on the testimonies of two eye witnesses, a recording of a phone call made by the convicted men, and video footage of the two at ADK Hospital with their accomplices later that night after the murder.
Their phone call to another person took place the day after the crime. Its recording contained graphic descriptions of their assault on Muheeth, including how they attacked him in the head with a sharp weapon and how it had “split like a coconut” when they struck him with another object. The recording was a perfect match with the two men’s real voices.
In its verdict unanimously passed by all the judges presiding over the case, the High Court stated that the two men’s account of Muheeth’s murder included details that would be known only to those that actively took part in the crime. It also declared that, despite the defendants’ questions over the integrity of the eye witnesses, there was nothing compromising the latter’s veracity.
The sentence further noted that Islamic law holds everyone that has reached puberty accountable for their actions despite being minors, and that anyone aged fifteen is regarded as having reached puberty. The two men convicted of Muheeth’s murder had been over the age of fifteen at the time.
The verdict finally read that as all inheritors of Muheeth have declared for the death penalty, the final sentence for the perpetrators will be capital punishment.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Court is still looking into the cases of three other people in connection to Muheeth’s murder.
The two men will receive a period of 30 days to appeal the High Court’s verdict. If not, the state will take the case to the Supreme Court for the final check on the verdict. The death penalty will be implemented only if the Supreme Court upholds the capital punishment and none of the victim’s inheritors forgives the culprits.