Murder trial stalled as Shaahil refuses to communicate with lawyers

Ali Shaahil, a murder suspect, outside the Criminal Court on January 22, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu)

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, on Thursday, revealed the trial of Ali Shaahil charged with the brutal murder of Shiaau Mohamed Saeed, a young musician in an apartment in the Maldivian capital in August last year remains stalled as he refuses to communicate with his lawyers.

Shiaau Mohamed Saeed, 22, was found killed and dismembered in an apartment on the ninth floor of H. Sheereen Villa on August 6, 2022.

Ali Shaahil, 22, a local skater, was arrested from the scene of the crime.

Shaahil was charged with five offenses in connection to the case, including murder with intent using a sharp-edged weapon, possession of pornography and using cannabis. Two of the charges have not been disclosed by the state.

Responding to a question by Sun during a press conference on Thursday – PG Shameem, underscoring the state had appointed several lawyers for Shaahil, said he has refused to communicate with any of them.

Therewith, PG Shameem said the trial remains stalled.

“The trial is not proceeding due to the suspect’s refusal to cooperate with his lawyers,” he said.

“He does not communicate with the lawyers. The state has appointed lawyers for him. I have been informed that the state appointed three lawyers for him. But he does not wish to talk to the lawyers, or explain anything,” he added.

PG Shameem stressed that Shaahil does not speak to the lawyers when they visit him at the prison for meetings either.  Hence, he said the Attorney General’s Office has decided against appointing any further lawyers for the suspect.

“Am hoping the trial will move forward now,” he also added.

The trial, at the Criminal Court, is held behind closed doors.

While the autopsy confirmed the injuries inflicted on Shiaau - both before and after her death - had been deliberate, and the police recovered weapons used in the murder, the investigation had suffered setbacks due to the lack of a clear motive for the crime.

Police said Shaahil, while he responded to questions from investigators, refused to speak specifically about the murder.


Police later said that they had unlocked Shaahil’s phone and expected to recover enough evidence from the phone to establish a motive.