Miruza’s heirs’ forgiveness saves Nazeef from death penalty

Abdulla Nazeef – Zaviyaa, Fuvahmulah: He was sentenced to the death penalty in connection to the murder of Ahmed Miruza – White House, N. Maalhendhoo. (Sun photo/Iruthisham Mohamed)

Abdulla Nazeef, Zaavia, Fuvahmulah City, who was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the murder of Ahmed Miruza, White House, N. Maalhendhoo, has evaded the death penalty after being forgiven by Miruza’s heirs.

Miruza was murdered inside Vilimale’ Park on the evening of April 11th, 2011, at approximately 5:45pm. He was attacked with a wooden batten. Criminal Court found Nazeef and Mohamed Shifau, Fazeelaamanzil, Vilimale’, guilty of the murder and sentenced them both to death. High Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

During the proceedings at both Criminal Court and High Court – Miruza’s heir expressed their desire for Qisas.

Miruza’s heirs forgave Nazeef at his request. Miruza’s father sent a letter to the Supreme Court as the appeal proceedings neared the ruling, which informed his decision to forgive Nazeef. When he was summoned before the court, Miruza’s father said he decided to forgive Nazeef following a meeting where the latter appealed for forgiveness.

At a hearing in the case held on Wednesday, the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously found Nazeef guilty of carrying out a murder with intention. However, the bench unanimously decided that the death penalty cannot be enforced against Nazeef as he had been forgiven by the heirs.

Although Nazeef evaded the death penalty, he must serve his sentence in connection to the murder. The case has been sent to Criminal Court which will decide his punishment.

As per the Islamic Sharia, the family of the victim is allowed to demand the death penalty under Qisas, if they unanimously agree. Should even one of the heirs disagree on Qisas, the death penalty cannot be enforced.

Although criminals are sentenced to death in the Maldives, the sentence is not enforced. Instead, the criminals remain on life imprisonment.