High Court overturns lower court decision, convicts rapist to 15 years

Anti-rape rally in Malé | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – The High Court has overturned a decision from the Criminal Court and convicted a rapist, who is accused of raping a foreigner in a resort room, to 15 years in jail.

The state raised charges against three Maldivians for raping a Korean citizen in a resort room in February 2015. The female employee was blindfolded and threatened with a sharp object.

Two were charged with rape while another with accessory to rape. However, the Criminal Court dismissed this case, passing the verdict that the 3 alleged are not guilty as there is not sufficient evidence to prove them otherwise.

The state later appealed this case at the High Court, which was accepted by three judges, Judge Hussain Shaheed, Judge Mohamed Niyaz and Judge Hussain Mazeed. All three judges coincided on the verdict for two of the alleged.

Evidence presented to the court show that the body fluid of one of the accused was found in the samples taken from the victim. The accused have not presented any evidence in his defence.

In addition to this, the medical report of the victim and the doctor’s statement prove that the victim had received intense physical trauma and that one of the alleged was responsible for it.

As the evidence against the alleged was sufficient to clearly prove that he was guilty of raping the Korean citizen in a resort room, all 3 judges agreed on the decision that he was guilty, thus sentencing him to 15 years in jail.

Evidence against the second alleged person was that his DNA was found on one of the glasses in the room. However, the judges decided that it is possible for his DNA to be found in the room as he is a housekeeper and that this is not sufficient evidence to convict him. Therefore, he was deemed not guilty in the High court case as well.

The third person was accused of rape as his DNA was found on one of the pillowcases in the bathroom of that toilet. However, as he is an attendant in the resort, two of the judges decided that he is not guilty as his job might result in his DNA on the pillow. Presiding Judge Mazeed’s stance is that there was enough evidence to convict. The guilty verdict for the third defendant was not found due to two judges deciding that there was not enough evidence.