Murder victim Ahsan Basheer’s heirs demand death penalty

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Hassan Shimaz Mohamed, Ma. Venusthari, Male’ City; and Ibrahim Shahum Adam, G. Gozy, Male’ City. (File Photo/Maldives Police Service)

The heirs of Ahsan Basheer – who was stabbed to death in Male’ City in 2011 – told the High Court on Sunday that they want the death penalty against the men who killed him. 

Ahsan Basheer, Varudheege, S. Hithadhoo, died in a stabbing that took place at the Majeedhee Magu-Alikilegefaanu Magu junction at approximately 03:20 am on March 17, 2011. 

Two men were charged in connection to the murder. 

Ibrahim Shahum Adam, G. Cozy, Male’, was charged with intentional murder while Hassan Shimaz Mohamed, Ma. Venus Thari, Male’ was charged as an accessory. 

However, the Criminal Court acquitted them in 2014. Though Shimaz walked free with the ruling, Shahum – who had been convicted in 2013 of another murder – remained in prison. 

The High Court overturned the seven-year-old ruling last week, finding the evidence sufficient to prove the charges against them. However, the court postponed sentencing in order to consult Ahsan Basheer’s heirs on whether they wish to invoke Qisas. 

The court ordered Shimaz to 10 days in jail until a decision could be made. 

At a hearing at the High Court on Sunday, the prosecutor said that all of Ahsan Basheer’s heirs wish for the application of Qisas.  

This means the judge has the prerogative to sentence Shahum to life in prison. And following discussions, the prosecution requested a sentence of 17 years and six months in prison against Shimaz. 

The High Court will issue its sentence in the next hearing. 

The Criminal Court acquitted Shahum and Shimaz on November 20, 2014, citing insufficient evidence. 

The decision was appealed with the High Court over a year later, in February 2016. 

Shahum is currently serving a life sentence for terrorism in connection to the murder of Mohamed Hussain, M. Beautyflower, Male’, in a gang-related attack at the Maziya football field in May, 2010. 

Shimaz did not have any other cases against him at the time, and had walked free.