K. Male'
14 Nov 2023 | Tue 15:53
Trial in the murder of Mary Grace
Trial in the murder of Mary Grace
Murder of Mary Grace
Murder of Mary Grace: testimonies collected from three more witnesses
Marvin's lawyer sought to allow his client to join the court proceedings online, considering his health condition
Lamha's lawyer sought conditional relief in custody

A hearing has been held in the murder trial of Mary Grace, a Philippines national who was employed as a nurse at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

The hearing was held at the Criminal Court on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s hearing focused on recording statements from witnesses presented by the prosecution.

The first witness summoned during Tuesday’s hearing was someone who worked with husband of the deceased, Filipino nurse Marvin and 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, who recounted some of the events that took place at the hospital, on the day of Mary Grace’s murder.

As such, the witness is to have met Marvin the day Mary Grace’s body was brought into the hospital and spoken to him about what had happened.

The witness cited Marvin having revealed that Mary Grace had hung herself and revealed that when he questioned Marvin further, there were no adequate responses.

Marvin is to have told the witness that he had gone downstairs to allow Mary Grace to settle down as she was furious, and when he went up later, he found that she hanged herself.

According to the witness, Marvin was questioned why he had bruise marks on his limbs, to which he responded that they were caused by Mary Grace.

The witness cited Marvin having stated that he had rushed Mary Grace to the hospital not long after she hung herself and that the witness believes Mary Grace could have been saved had she been brought in earlier.

The second witness summoned to Tuesday’s hearing was on the basis of a scene of crime officer’s report, of the Maldives Police Service (MPS).

The officer was the one who took detailed photographs of the medicines taken from Lamha’s residence and prepared the report.

The third witness was also summoned on the basis of a scene of crime officer’s report of MPS. The officer was the one who took pictures of Viber messages on a phone taken as evidence in connection with the case. The messages were from a Viber group titled ‘ER Maldives’.

Further, the state prosecutors stated that they did not find any reason to release Lamha and Marvin on conditional bail, during the hearing. As such, they highlighted that there was no change in the circumstances under which they were detained until the end of the trial.

During the hearing, Marvin’s legal representative requested the court to allow him to join the court proceedings online from Maafushi, considering his health condition.

Lamha’s legal representative had requested the court to provide conditional relief to her remand, and to put her on a MoniCon tag.

Presiding Judge Hussain Faiz Rashaad revealed that a verdict regarding conditional bail will be issued at the next hearing, scheduled for November 23.

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.

MPS confirmed the arrest of Lamha under a court order, on 16 December 2021.

Mary Grace was employed as a worker at the Dialysis Center of IGMH. The Filipino nurse’s suspicious death was reported on 19 October 2021. After bringing her body to the hospital, her husband initially claimed that she committed suicide by hanging. However, he is to have later changed the story.

The police arrested Marvin, 29 years of age, and also employed as a nurse in IGMH, on 27 October 2021 under suspicions of murder as there were no signs of suicide by hanging on the victim’s body.

The murdered nurse’s body was sent to India for an autopsy and returned to her family in Philippines afterwards, on 7 November 2021.

Citing the autopsy report, the police institution revealed that her death is not believed to have been by hanging. The autopsy report indicated that she died from a “blunt trauma”, which refers to an injury of the body by forceful impacts, falls or a physical attack on the body.

The police institution forwarded the case for prosecution on 19 December 2021.

Last updated at: 6 months ago
Reviewed by: Fathimath Zuhaira