Sha Alom found guilty of murdering Dhangethi entrepreneur

Suspect in murder of Dhangethi entrepreneur Mahmood Aboobakuru, Sha Alom 'Salim' Mia, has been found guilty on murder charges.

Mahmood, 57, was found murdered inside a well in an abandoned house on the island on October 15. Sha Alom, 29, who worked as a live-in caretaker of an elderly man, was arrested for the murder the following day. The StateState has raised two charges against him: Murder with intent and the abuse of a corpse. Sha Alom pled guilty to both charges.

During a Criminal Court hearing held Wednesday, Sha Alom maintained his guilty plea and said he committed the murder because the 'devil entered his head', the same defense he used throughout the trial.

As Sha Alom had pled guilty to murdering Mahmood, the court showed him a photograph of Mahmood to confirm his identity and the clothes he was wearing at the time of the murder. Looking at the photos, Sha Alom confirmed that the man he murdered was indeed the man pictured in the photograph and said he could not vividly remember what Mahmood was wearing at the time of the murder. However, the clothes seen in the picture looked familiar, he said.

The presiding judge, Ahmed Shakeel, said as Sha Alom had pled guilty, his admittance of guilt was accepted and ruled that he was guilty of both charges raised against him.

The judge said he would confirm Mahmood's heirs and seek their word. However, as the deceased's heirs are in quarantine at this time, a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 10:00 am on February 7. However, the heirs were confirmed at Wednesday's hearing.

Mahmood's heirs had said they wished to seek 'Qisas', or blood money as retribution for Mahmood's murder during an earlier hearing. Although Sha Alom had requested a plea deal, the State denied proceeding with a plea deal as the victim's heirs did not wish for one.

The State said Salim murdered Mahmood using a knife and two sharpened metal rods. His chest and neck were punctured using the weapons. Mahmood's corpse was stuffed into sacks and dumped into a well by the murderer. As per Sha Alom, he murdered Mahmood for money.