Zuha murder: Sumon requests for lawyer mid-trial

Sumon Miah, the prime suspect in the murder of Hawwa Zuha, has requested for a lawyer. Zuha was found murdered on the streets of Male' earlier in January.

The witnesses from the prosecution gave their statements today. Testifying today, Sub-inspector of Police Dr. Hassan Umar, who translated Zuha's postmortem report, said that ligature marks were found on both sides of Zuha's neck. Additionally, there were clear signs that she was strangled to death.

Staff Sargent Mohamed Ashraf, who analyzed the video footage, testified that the person in the video footage and Zuha had only one match, while with Sumon there were four matches.

Police Sargent Sariyya was the last person to testify today, who had prepared the scene of crime report on the murder. Sariyya said there were marks on Zuha's neck and her feet were covered in dust. More evidence will be taken from additional individuals.

Sumon was given the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses but had no questions for the witnesses. He constantly said that he was innocent of the charges, adding that he had been subject to intimidation by the Police. Judge Ibrahim Ali cautioned Sumon on baseless allegations.

Witness statements from Police officers who had arrested Sumon and conducted the investigations were taken for the case as well. Judge noted that Sumon had not previously made such a claim and had not used the opportunity to cross examine the statements given by the Police.

Sumon had requested the state to appoint a lawyer for his defense. When the trial first began, the state had advised Sumon to seek legal counsel throughout the process. However, Sumon had waived his rights to legal assistance, confessed to the murder and requested for an expedited trial.

Judge had ordered Sumon to submit a written request to AG Office requesting for legal assistance, adding that both the state and the judiciary will provide assistance.