State appeals underage suspect's transfer at the Supreme Court

The State has appealed the lower Court decision to transfer an underage suspect involved in the murder of a 13-year old boy to home arrest.

The Juvenile Court ordered for the 17-year-old against whom murder charges have been raised to be transferred to home arrest from the Juvenile Detention Center in Asseyri Jail, K. Himmafushi. On November 9, 2021, he was transferred to home arrest after the Human Rights Commission deemed the Detention Centre unfit to hold children.

Maldives Correctional Services later established a new detention center to hold underage children, and the State requested the Juvenile Court to move the suspect to the new center. However, the court ruled that the previous order to keep the suspect under home arrest must be maintained.

The matter was then taken to the High Court, which upheld the Juvenile Court decision. The High Court ruling said while the suspect has not been released, it is clear that he still remains in detention. The Children's Rights Protection Act states that they may be detained at home, and therefore, home arrest is an acceptable form of custody under the law, the judge had said.

The deceased 13-year-old boy was first reported as kidnapped. On June 22, 2021, his body was discovered in the beach area of reclaimed suburbs Hulhumale'. In addition to the minor, a 27-year-old local man was arrested in connection to the boy's death.

The 17-year-old minor faces three charges. They are one count of voluntary homicide, one charge of unlawful restraint of a person, and one charge of abuse of a human corpse.