While the Criminal Court was to hear from two witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing in blogger Yameen Rasheed’s murder trial, the court decided to postpone the testimonies following complaints from the defence.
Yameen was brutally stabbed to death at the stairwell of his apartment building, Maafannu Spatula, on 23 April 2017. The state has raised murder charges on six individuals; Ismail Haisham Rasheed, Hussain Ziyad, Ismail Rasheed, Hassan Shifaz, Mohamed Dhifran, and Ahmed Zihan Ismail.
Two officers, submitted as witnesses by the state, were to testify on Wednesday.
However, the defence accused prosecutors of violating a court decision asking them to provide details of the witnesses being presented to a hearing at least two days prior.
While all six defendants are being represented separately, their attorneys claimed that this information are provided a day prior and that this does not give them enough time to prepare.
Furthermore, they said that they were not informed of one of the two officers set to take the witness stand on Wednesday.
In response, the state noted the difficulties in presenting witnesses, adding that there have been attempts to alter their testimonies.
However, the state did not give details of those ‘influencing’ the witnesses.
While Ismail Rasheed’s attorney Maumoon Hameed repeatedly inquired on those pressuring the witnesses, the state did not respond to this.
However, it did reply to accusations made by the Bar Council president, claiming that the state was the one pressuring witnesses. This accusation was directed at a testimony of a secret witness, who admitted to having met with authorities prior to the testimony hearing.
The state responded that meeting with witnesses is not prohibited and that doing so does not mean that they were pressuring them.
The hearing ended with the judge announcing that the witness hearing will be held next week.