Maldives charges cop, four govt officials over toddler's death

Prosecutors have found negligence on the part of a police officer and four gender ministry officials and filed formal charges against the five over the death of the three year old boy who was allegedly murdered by his mother.

Mohamed Ibthihaal was found dead in their home in Vaavu Atoll Rakeedhoo island with signs of severe physical abuse in January 2015.

His mother, Afiya Mohamed had been arrested in connection to her son’s death and has been charged with first degree murder.

Afiya has confessed to severely beating her son on the day of his death.

Out of the four gender ministry officials, two have since resigned.

The police officer charged in the case is the acting northern area commander in Vaavu Atoll at the time.

All five have been charged under Chapter 88 (4) of the penal code, domestic violence Act and the child protection Act. The police officer faces additional charges under the Police Act.

The referred penal code chapter states that "Disobedience to order authorized by Shari’ah or Law: Where such disobedience resulted in the death of a person the offender shall be subjected to punishment described by Islamic Law."

Ibthihaal's death had grabbed the attention of the entire island nation and had sparked public outrage after state institutions were accused of failing to protect Ibthihaal and abuse victims.

Ismail Rauf, Ibthihaal’s grandfather has also been charged in a separate case of incest.

Rauf is reported to have sexually and physically abused both Afiya and Ibthihaal.