Yameen Rasheed murder: With convictions, DDCom restarts stalled investigation

Yameen Rasheed: He was stabbed to death on April 23, 2017.

Disappearances and Deaths Commission (DDCom) has restarted the investigation into the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed, after the Criminal Court convicted two suspects of his murder last week. 

Yameen was stabbed to death in the stairwell of his residence in Male’ City, M. Spatula, on April 23, 2017.    

Six suspects were put on trial for his murder; Ismail Haisham Rasheed (H. Annaarumaage, Male’ City), Ahmed Zihan Ismail (M.Iraasmikge, Male’ City), Mohamed Dhifran (Simbadge, G. Dh. Gadhdhoo), Hassan Shifaz (M. Kudhehige, Male’ City), Ismail Rasheed (M. Thaaif, Male’ City), and Hussain Ziyad (M. Kolhufushi East, Male’ City).   

They were charged with murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon.   

The court issued its ruling in the high-profile case on January 19. 

Haisham and Zihan – who were accused of active involvement in the murder – were found guilty of the murder. They were issued life sentences and ordered to pay MVR 1.3 million as diya (financial compensation). 

The other four suspects were acquitted. 

DDCom had suspended its investigation into the case after the trial began. 

Sun has been informed the commission has restarted the investigation following the convictions. They have also begun questioning the suspects, persons of interest and witnesses. 

When questioned, DDCom member Misbah Abbas told Sun on Sunday afternoon that he does not wish to comment on the court ruling as it had not been based on the commission’s investigation. 

“The work that needs to be done in connection to the case is going ahead at full speed,” he said. 

He declined to make any further comment. 

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Ahmed Zihan Ismail, 22; and Ismail Haisham Rasheed, 21. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

For Yameen’s mother, Mariyam Shafeega, the two convictions bring little comfort. 

She said she wanted to see the people who financed her son’s murder getting punished, before she can feel any sense of justice. 

“What I hoped for and what I wanted more than to see the people who were actively involved in this was to see the people who funded this getting punished,” she said. 

Shafeega believes the case runs deep. 

“As Yameen’s mother, I can’t believe that these young men were the people who did it. I believe they were made to do it,” she said. 

Shafeega said there’s no evidence of any personal conflict between her son and the six suspects. 

“Because Yameen was vastly different from them, both in terms of age and profession. So, I still believe there are people behind this,” she said. 

Shafeega also believed the fact that the suspects were represented by high-paid lawyers as evidence there were people who financed the murder. 

“I will find relief once they are found. What’s more important than finding them is finding the people who financed it and the people who planned it,” she said. 

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem described the two convictions as an achievement in the path to justice in the case, and said the acquittal of the four other suspects will be appealed.