The hearing in the trial in murder charges against Mohamed Aabid scheduled for Wednesday, was cancelled following the appointment of a new defence lawyer.
The hearing was scheduled for 10am, Wednesday.
The Pakistani national was charged with murdering a fellow worker at the same restaurant in Hulhumalé where he worked as a chef.
The murdered Bangladeshi man, Shameem was employed as a waiter at Khanji restaurant in the capital’s suburban extension. He died from injuries, while receiving treatment.
Although the hearing was scheduled, it could not proceed due to a change in Aabid’s lawyer.
Aabid’s new legal representative sought a 10-day period from the judges’ bench, in order to prepare for the trial.
Following this request, the hearing was cancelled.
The state is charging Aabid with deliberate murder using a sharp weapon and accused the suspect of stabbing his victim in the face and chest.
Presiding over the case is Judge Ismail Shafeeu.
Aabid faces a death penalty if the court finds him guilty of the charges pressed against him.
However, a sentence of 15 to 25 years will be imposed on the suspect if the murder charges are unproven, or if he is found guilty of abetting the murder or planning it.
In his preliminary statement, the suspect asserted that he had not attacked the Bangladeshi man with the intention to kill him and that although he had attacked the man, he had not intentionally inflicted injuries on him.
Aabid’s lawyer revealed that his client had simply acted on self-defense.
The state had presented 18 pieces of evidence in connection with the murder case, including 11 witnesses linking the suspect and victim to their nationalities.
Aabid was charged in June 2022, following murder at Khanji restaurant in Hulhumalé in April 2022.
The Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) forwarded the charges of deliberate murder with a sharp weapon, to the Criminal Court on 15 June 2022.
The charges come under the act on the prohibition of threatening and being in possession of sharp weapons and objects.
Maldives Police Service (MPS) revealed that they received information of the assault with a sharp weapon inside a restaurant in Hulhumalé, on the evening of 16 April 2022.
A team of police officers was dispatched to the area shortly after the report was received.
The injured Bangladeshi man was rushed to the hospital immediately. However, doctors had pronounced the man dead a short while after he was taken in for treatment.
The suspected killer was arrested a day later, from the beach area in Hulhumalé Phase II.