Witness testimony stage concludes in taxi-driver murder case

Witness testimony recording in the murder of taxi driver Gasim Hassan ended on Thursday.

Gasim was found critically injured on a deserted street in the reclaimed suburbs Hulhumale' on the night of December 4, 2019. He died at Hulhumale' Hospital while being treated for the deep wounds sustained to his neck and arm in the attack. After the fingerprint and DNA of the assailant were obtained at the crime scene and the murder weapon was recovered, the police took a suspect into their custody. An intentional homicide with a sharp object charge was filed against the suspect, Adhuham Mohamed of Boduhiyaage, Lh. Hinnavaru, for Gasim's murder.

The Criminal Court Thursday heard the testimony of an additional witness submitted by the prosecution against Adhuham. The testimony was given by a doctor who is currently working at the Hulhumale' Hospital, in place of the doctor who prepared Gasim's medico-legal report and death summary following his death.

Referring to the Medico-Legal Report, Dr. Aishath Uliya Musthafa said Gasim was unconscious when he was brought to the hospital. She said the victim had no pulse or blood pressure and showed no signs of breathing. The victim received 20 minutes of CPR upon being brought to the hospital, she said.

Gasim sustained the most serious injuries to his neck. A six centimeters long and three centimeters open wound was present across the left side of the neck and was cut two centimeters deep, she said. According to the report, the cut was so deep that the veins had been damaged, and he had bled heavily, causing a hemorrhagic shock due to lack of blood, she said.

The next most serious injuries were to the fingers of both hands. The doctor said the victim had a large cut across three fingers of his left hand and across his right palm.

Two other witnesses have not yet testified in the case. Public Prosecutor Ibrahim Nasih said one of the witnesses was a member of the public and could not be reached by phone. The other witness is a police officer and is currently in India, and there are challenges to recording his witness statement through the embassy, he said. There is no obstacle to reaching a verdict on the case without the testimony of the two witnesses, he said.

Judge Ali Nadeem ruled that the testimony stage was over as the defense had not submitted any evidence. Therefore, the next step would be discussing the evidence and hearing the summary statement. The next hearing has been scheduled for June 23.

Adhuham had previously admitted that Gasim died because of him but said that it had not been his intention to do so. Therefore, the prosecution is now taking evidence against him to prove intentional death.