Nazeef sentenced to 17 years for Mirza’s murder; 4 years left to serve

Abdulla Nazeef taken to the Criminal Court. (File Photo)

Abdulla Nazeef of Fuvahmulah City was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Wednesday, after he was found guilty of murdering Ahmed Mirza of N. Maalhendhoo, over a decade ago.

Mirza, 25, was attacked with iron bars on April 11, 2011, at a children’s park in Vilimale’. He was declared brain-dead by doctors at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), and passed away three days later, on April 14.

Five suspects were arrested and four of them, including a minor, were charged with murder.

Nazeef, who was charged with first degree murder, along with Mohamed Shifau of Vilimale’, who was charged as an accomplice, had been found guilty of the murder and sentenced to death by the Criminal Court on April 4, 2017, after Mirza’s heirs asked for the death penalty under the principle of qisas.

A third defendant, Ali Rifshan of GDh. Gadhdhoo, was acquitted.

Meanwhile, the minor charged in connection with the murder was acquitted by the Juvenile Court in November 2012.

The ruling was upheld upon appeal at the High Court on August 17, 2017.

But during the last stage of appeal at the Supreme Court, the family changed their mind and decided to forgive Nazeef.

The top court instructed the Criminal Court to decide on a new punishment.

On Wednesday, the court sentenced Nazeef to 17 years and six months in prison.

But having been in jail for over 13 years, he now has four years, five months and 14 days left to serve.

The court noted in the judgement that Mirza’s heirs have the right to file for blood money.

Mirza’s family had forgiven Shifau during the appeal at the High Court, which sentenced him to 17 years in prison.