PG claims several evidences overlooked during Ali Shah's trial

Prosecutor General's Office has claimed that several evidence submitted against Ali Shah in the case against him for the death of his wife, Ziyadha Naeem, were overlooked during his trial.

The PG Office's claim comes following Criminal Court's shocking verdict clearing Ali Shah of all four charges raised against him earlier this week.

Ziyadha from Thinadhoo island of Gh. atoll passed away while being treated at state run Indra Gandhi Memorial Hospital in capital Male' in 2015 for injuries sustained due to domestic and sexual abuse.

Her husband, Ali Shah was charged with marital rape, manslaughter, negligent homicide and possession of pornographic material. The trial began during August 2016 and the case was concluded on Thursday morning in favor of Shah. The case has now been appealed at the High Court by the Prosecutor General.

PG said in a statement released on Monday said a charge of marital rape was raised against Shah for forcefully taking Ziyadha to his house on 3rd December 2015 and committing sexual relations with her by force without her consent. The couple were living separately at the time.

Shah was charged with negligent homicide for the injuries caused to Ziyadha's head and other sites on her body during the marital rape which eventually caused her death while being treated at IGMH.

Shah was charged with the possession of pornographic material after a large number of pornographic material were discovered on his iPhone upon being analyzed by the digital evidence laboratory of the police after he was taken into police custody following Ziyadha's death.

The Prosecutor General's Office also noted that the statements of several individuals with whom the Ziyadha had shared her story with in the days leading up to her death, and statements from her caretakers and medical attendants at the hospital were given at the court. Her medical records were also submitted at the court, said the PG.

Ziyadha's phone was also sent to the police forensic laboratory as she had shared her ordeals via her phone with several individuals and the report prepared by the lab was submitted at the court as evidence. Additionally, the word of witnesses who can confirm that Ziyadha had told them the sexual relations had taken place without her consent, and other evidences to prove Shah committed his actions forcefully were submitted at court by the PG Office. The medical records and details of her injuries that support the fact that Shah's actions were non-consensual were also overlooked during the trial, PG Office claims.

Detailing further, PG Office said the trial was based on Ziyadha's postmortem report only, which did not list any indications that Ziyadha was sexually abused. No mention of the sexual abuse was listed on the postmortem as it was conducted almost a month after the rape occurred, and after she had been treated for her injuries at the hospital for over two weeks. The injuries inflicted during the rape had already healed due to the treatment, said PG Office.

When the statement of witnesses were provided to prove the reason why Ziyadha's injuries were not evident on her body during her postmortem, the presiding judge had dismissed the witness statements claiming that no witnesses had been able to provide the exact date on which her injuries had healed.

While her cause of death was listed as bleeding into her brain in her postmortem report, the likelihood that the injury that resulted in the brain bleed was sustained four weeks prior to her death was mentioned, and witness statements were given as such, read the statement further. The Prosecutor General's office in their statement said they believed that they had submitted enough evidence that proves beyond reasonable doubt that Ziyadha's death was caused by injuries sustained due to Ali Shah's actions.

The statement further noted that at the time of the assault, an implied agreement existed between the couple to live separately, and witness statements proving this and the fact that Shah's actions were intended to cause severe physical and mental harm to Ziyadha were also overlooked during trial.