State files appeal against acquittal of two suspects in slain blogger's murder

The Prosecutor General's Office has said the State had filed appeals against the acquittal of two out of the four people found not guilty in the murder of blogger Yameen Rasheed.

Yamin was murdered in the stairwell of his home on the night of April 23, 2017.

The Criminal Court delivered its verdict on Yameen's murder case on January 19. The court found two out of the six people charged with his murder guilty. They are Ismail Haisham Rasheed and Ahmed Zihan Ismail. The pair were sentenced to 25 years in jail and were ordered to pay blood money of MVR 1.3 million to Yameen's heirs.

The remaining four suspects, Hussain Ziyad, Ismail Rasheed, Hassan Shifaz, and Mohamed Dhifran, were cleared of the charges.

Public Prosecutor at the PG Office Ahmed Shafeeu Sunday said the State had filed an appeal with the High Court challenging Ismail Rasheed and Mohamed Dhifran's acquittal. He said the State did not have enough evidence to pursue an appeal for Hassan Shifaz and Hussain Zihan's case.

Witness statements taken in the Criminal Court trial confirmed that all six suspects were involved in Yamee's murder at different stages. However, four of them escaped a conviction due to the charges raised by the State - assaulting a person with a sharp object with intent to kill. The presiding judge said Adam Mohamed also noted that they would have been found guilty of other charges.