The High Court has found Ibrahim Shah guilty over the death of his wife.
Ziyadha Naeem, 37, from the Thinadhoo island in Gaaf Dhaal atoll died in December 2015, of life-threatening injuries caused by marital rape. A postmortem examination conducted in India confirmed signs of abuse.
Before she passed away, Ziyadha is to have told doctors that she was physically and sexually assaulted by Shah after the couple was separated.
The husband, 40, was arrested after Ziyadha was hospitalised in Malé.
While Shah was charged with marital rape, manslaughter, negligent homicide and possession of pornography, the Criminal Court acquitted him in March 2019 citing “insufficient evidence.”
The state appealed the lower court verdict at the High Court in April 2019, who on Thursday sentenced him to three years in prison after finding him guilty of marital rape.
While this was the first case Hussain Shameem took on since being appointed Prosecutor General, he described it as a “huge win” for the country’s criminal justice system.
He stressed that with this, marital rape “is recognized in law and now recognized by the court system.”
Adding that there are two more pending cases against Shah, Shameem said that they intend to continue this work and “ensure protection for vulnerable.”
Ziyadha’s death shocked the nation and prompted a debate on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act.