Suspect in the murder case of 59-year old taxi driver Gasim Hassan has been granted a five-day period to appoint legal representation.
A hearing in the trial of Adham Mohamed, 21 was held at the Criminal Court on Thursday.
During the hearing held after a hiatus of seven months, Adham refused to proceed with the state-appointed defense lawyer and requested to grant him time to appoint a new defense lawyer.
A hearing in the case was also scheduled for Monday, it was cancelled as the defense lawyer failed to turn up.
Adham asserted that talks were underway to appoint a lawyer and that he hopes to appoint one within three days.
In light of this, presiding judge over the murder case, Ismail Rasheed granted him five days to appoint legal representation, stating that the next hearing will be held as soon as possible, after the five-day period is up.
On February 12, Adham pleaded guilty for the murder of the taxi driver and later on, denied the murder allegations pinned on him and has withdrawn his confession. The latest hearing in the case was held on February 18, during which the fast-tracked trial concluded.
The suspect is charged with first-degree murder under the act on Prohibiting Threatening and Possession of Dangerous Weapons and Sharp Objects.
Adham detailed his actions and how the murder was carried out, and repeatedly confessed to every detail during the preliminary hearing in February. While he was asked whether there was any coercion by the presiding judge Ismail Rasheed, Adham stated that he made the confession on his own free will. Following his confession, the initial sentence of 25-years was reduced to a 17-year and 6-month prison sentence.
He confessed to never having “intended to kill Gasim” but merely to “rob him”. As such, Adham claimed then that he attacked Gasim in a state of intoxication. When questioned if he was intoxicated under the influence of another party, he refuted it.
The 21-year-old claimed that he was not of sound mind when the confessions were made, accusing the police of intoxicating him by providing everything; he noted that he was under police's custody during these hearings.
Adham was arrested on December 19, after Gasim’s dead body was discovered lying face-down in a puddle of blood on the road in Hulhumalé on December 4.
Police earlier confirmed that Adham has a long criminal history including theft and cases related to drugs.
Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem had earlier assured that they have enough evidence to convict him even if he retracts his confession, adding that “things will only be worse for the suspect” if he does so.