After a three-month-long hiatus of the trial against Pakistani chef Muhammed Abid, 26 for the murder of a waiter working at the same restaurant, hearings resumed as he has finally appointed a lawyer.
The Prosecutor General's Office has charged Abid with murder with intent using a sharp instrument.
The last hearing was held three months prior to this, and it had to be as Abid no longer had a lawyer to represent him.
After he was granted time to appoint a lawyer, a hearing was scheduled for December 6. On this also, he came without a lawyer.
At the time, Abid detailed that his father was the one working to get a lawyer. He went on to say that as phone calls and family meetings are hard to get, there have been difficulties in arranging a lawyer.
The Judge ended that hearing, giving him even more time in assigning a lawyer. Moreover, the judge ordered the state to provide ease in getting phone calls and arranging family meetings.
Although a hearing was scheduled for today, it was also cancelled. But this time it was at the request of the defence lawyer.
The lawyer requested 10 days to familiarize with the case as he was newly appointed.
Criminal Court approved granting the lawyer’s request.
Although at this stage of the hearing, the testimonies of the witnesses from the state are being taken, the judge noted that he does not believe it is right to proceed without the presence of a lawyer, as this was a criminal case with serious allegations.
The incident took place on June 16, inside Khanji, a popular restaurant in Hulhumale’. The victim was identified by Police as MD Shameem, a Bangladeshi male, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Hulhumale' Hospital.
Witnesses at the scene claim Shameem sustained stab wounds to his head, neck, and legs. At the request of his family, his body was sent to Bangladesh.
Shameem’s murder had reportedly been prompted by a disagreement inside the restaurant’s kitchen, as the staff prepared meals for iftar.
According to Police, Abid had fled the scene after the attack. He was arrested after an hours-long manhunt in the early hours of April 17, at the beach area in Hulhumale’ Phase II.