Criminal Court has found a migrant worker from Bangladesh guilty of the murder of a businessman from ADh. Dhangethi who was found killed in October last year.
Local businessman Mahmood Aboobakr, 57, was found murdered and thrown into a water well in an abandoned house in Dhangethi on the afternoon of October 14, hours after he was reported missing.
Police arrested Sha Alom Mia (Salim), 29, a Bangladeshi national, in connection to the murder on October 16.
Salim, who worked as a live-in caregiver for an elderly man by the name of Aadhanbe at Nedhunge - a house close to where Mahmood’s body was found, was charged with murder with intent and abuse of a corpse in connection to the case in December last year.
According to the State, Salim killed Mahmood using a knife and two sharpened iron rods to stab his chest and neck.
He pled guilty to the charges last week.
Despite Salim’s guilty plea, the State said it wished to proceed with the case by submitting evidence as it involved a murder.
Salim’s attorney responded that the Criminal Procedure Code was clear on the procedure if a defendant pleads guilty.
Salim had asked for a plea deal with the State, but Mahmood’s heirs had asked the court for the death penalty.
The State therefore rejected his request for a plea deal.
Chief Judge Ahmed Shakeel issued his ruling in the case on Wednesday morning.
Salim was found guilty on both charges.
However, the sentencing has been postponed until the court can clarify the wishes of Mahmood’s heirs, which the judge said will take 10 days.
Salim became the focus of the murder investigation after a woman reported hearing screams coming from Nedhunge at approximately 09:30 pm on October 13 – the night Mahmood went missing. She looked over the wall, and saw what looked like someone being dragged by their feet.
She alerted one of Aadhanbe’s relatives, who called Salim. Salim told the relative he killed a cat.
Police believe the murder was motivated by greed, and that Mahmood was carrying MVR 10,000 in cash in his wallet the night he went missing.
Investigative findings showed Mahmood was killed in the house where Salim lived. He lured Mahmood to the house and asked for money. He was killed in the dispute which arose after he refused to give the money.
Salim stabbed Mahmood multiple times. Medical examiners documented 30 different wounds on his body. Salim killed Mahmood and stuffed his head and legs into sacks. He threw the body over the wall and onto the street, and then carried the body and dropped it head-first into the water well located in the abandoned house at the back of his house.
Police, during their search of Nedhunge, found some of Mahmood’s belongings as well as articles if clothes Salim had been wearing when he committed the murder.
However, Salim had confessed to the murder before the discovery of the evidence.
Police have stated that their investigative findings do not indicate additional assailants had been involved in the crime.
Police also believe Salim to be linked to additional crimes which take taken place in Dhangethi in the past.
The case was investigated by a homicide investigation team from the Serious and Organized Crime Department, ADh. Atoll police, and a forensic team.