The hearing in the murder trial of Mary Grace, a Philippines national who was employed as a nurse at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), scheduled for Sunday, has been cancelled.
The two people who are charged in connection with the murder case are, husband of the deceased, Filipino nurse, Marvin and Haleemath Lamha.
The hearing was canceled as Lamha's defense lawyers were attending another hearing at the Criminal Court. The hearing on the charges against Lamha and Marvin was cancelled due to this.
Due to the Criminal Court's space limitations, scheduling complex cases involving numerous parties has been extremely difficult.
Marvin was charged with deliberate murder of his wife Mary Grace on 4 January 2022. He faces accusations of injuring Mary’s head and neck and strangling her to death in their apartment in the capital city, on 19 October 2021.
Marvin faces a 10-year prison sentence if he is proven guilty of the charges raised against him.
Marvin’s alleged lover, Lamha also faces charges for conspiring with Marvin to carry out the murder and assisting in facilitating it. Hearings in both trials are being held separately. Lamha faces six years in prison if she is found guilty.
She also faces additional charges for deliberately taking unauthorized control over the property of another person or place, after the police found two injections from IGMH that she did not have authority to take out of the hospital. The two needles were found hidden inside her bedroom. She is also charged with carrying out an activity that requires permission from authorities, without obtaining permission after police found a drug issued only for the use of hospitals, while searching her bedroom.
If convicted, Lamha will be jailed for four months and 24 days for that offense.
Maldives Police Service (MPS) confirmed the arrest of Lamha under a court order, on 16 December 2021.
During the latest hearing, testimonies were collected from three witnesses, all familiar with Haleemath Lamha, the Maldivian woman who was also employed as a nurse at IGMH, one of the two people charged in connection with the case.
The first witness revealed that she met Lamha through social media and that Lamha had phoned her to tell her that Mary had died.
Regarding an inquiry from the witness presented by the state, Lamha had questioned the witness on how they may check an update regarding Mary’s death. The witness answered most of the questions by saying that she does not recall or remember.
The next witness presented to the court was a resident of Lamha’s home island who stated that Lamha phoned her as well, to let her know that Mary had died by hanging. She is to have asked the witness to check what was going on as she had heard she was about to be arrested in connection with the case.
The third witness was also an acquaintance of Lamha who was employed as a nurse at IGMH as well. The nurse testified that she knew Lamha talked to Marvin often,but said she did not know further details of their relationship. The witness testified that she only found out about the incident through a viber group.
The next stage was discussions regarding Mary’s medical documents, regarding which the state prosecutor revealed that they had sought further details from the hospital, as requested by the court. The state prosecutors cited the doctors revealing that there were no additional documents other than Mary’s death summary, handwritten notes from the doctors and nurses, PCR test results as well as CT scan results.
The defendant cited Marvin having revealed that Mary had been incubated and that the incubator was disconnected after the forensic team arrived. However, there are no documents to prove this. Hence, the defendant once again requested from the judges’ bench to make this clear by calling official of IGMH to court.
Presiding Judge Hussain Faiz Rashaad revealed that discussions regarding the topic will not be allowed henceforth and that a decision on the matter will be reached after further investigations by the court.