Witness testimony hearings of three-year-old Mohamed Ibthihaal's murder case scheduled for 21st November has been postponed.
The toddler's murder shook the nation after his body was found beaten to death inside his home in Rakeedhoo Island of Vaavu Atoll in January 2015. Ibthihaal's mother, Afiya confessed to having committed the murder before a judge and consequently had first-degree murder charges pressed against her.
The testimonials were postponed due to a lack of arrangements at Rakeedhoo court to hold a video conference. According to the state, arrangements for video conference are available at the atoll's capital as well as arrangements for witnesses to travel there with a police escort. Nevertheless, the prosecution requested additional time due to the number of witness testimonies that need to be collected on the same day.
The presiding judge of the case, Mohamed Sameer, stated that efforts are being made to collect witness testimony during a hearing in early December. If not, a hearing will be held in January next year, said the judge.
Video conference arrangements were made to collect the testimonies of the state's witnesses due to difficulties in travelling for the Rakeedhoo natives.
A number of witnesses have already testified in the case including the police officers and doctors that examined the toddler's body.
Afiya also confessed to physically abusing her son. She said she strangled Ibthihaal in his sleep and continued to beat him up even as blood had started to ooze from his mouth. The strangulation was confirmed as the reason for his death by resident pediatrician at IGM Hospital Dr. Ahmed Nihan in court. Nevertheless, doctors state that the exact cause-of-death cannot be finalized without conducting a post-mortem examination.
Afiya, who has a history of sexual abuse, suffers from severe depression and has high levels of anxiety which was triggered at the smallest of matters, according to several tests done by mental health expert, Dr Aishath Ali Naaz. She said no mental disorders were observed in the tests, but that she easily succumbs to fits of uncontrollable anger and often damaging the surroundings.
Afiya was sexually abused in her childhood and conceived Ibthihaal out of the abuse.