One of the suspects in blogger Yameen Rasheed’s murder left a fingerprint at the scene, a state witness testified at the Criminal Court on Tuesday.
The witness, police officer Adham Ali, had analyzed the fingerprints during the investigation. He said a fingerprint was extracted from the camera in front of the lift and that the print had 14 patterns or sequences that matched Ismail Haisham Rasheed's.
Noting that they had cross checked this fingerprint with all suspects in the case, Adham said that it “only matched with Haisham’s.” The officer said that another officer had informed him of the possibility of the suspects leaving a print on the camera, after he arrived at the scene.
He further said that the fingerprint analysis is done “manually” and that countries’ have a different standard in declaring whether two fingerprints are a match; adding that Maldives’ standards state that there must be at least eight matching patterns or sequences.
A second witness testified at Wednesday’s hearing as well, also an officer that responded to the murder.
However, Haisham’s attorney objected that his testimony cannot be used in the trial, citing a chain of custody issue. He noted that this officer’s name was scratched out in the chain of custody form, and replaced with another officer’s name.
The presiding judge overruled him.
Haisham’s attorney also brought up the death of his client’s brother, who was found dead at his residence last Friday.
While the police have ruled out any suspicions in the 28-year-old’s death, Haisham’s lawyer expressed concern over this.
Noting that the state has disclosed that its witnesses are being threatened for testifying in the case, the lawyer said that the brother’s sudden death is worrying.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for November 17, where the state will continue to hear the state’s witnesses.
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