The trial of a man charged in connection with Hussain Razeen’s murder has begun at the Criminal Court on Wednesday.
Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, 28, was charged with funding 29-year-old Razeen’s murder as well as with concealing the murder.
During Wednesday’s hearing the court gave him 15 days to obtain a lawyer.
According to the charges against him, Abdul Rahman travelled to Sri Lanka in October 2015, met Bilal Mohamed Ahmed and planned Razeen’s murder. Charges also read that Razeen was killed inside Bilal’s van, after which Bilal had sent photos of the body to Abdul Rahman.
When charges were read to him, Abdul Rahman said charges were clear to him and that he wanted to obtain a lawyer before proceeding.
Although Abdul Rahman is currently under house arrest, due to the nature of the case the state requested the court to allow authorities to detain him until the end of the trial.
However the presiding judge said Abdul Rahman will be kept under house arrest and that it will only be decided otherwise in the next hearing, which has been scheduled for January 23.
Razeen was discovered dead in neighbouring Sri Lankan on November 5, 2015.
A team of Maldivian police officers had travelled to Sri Lanka and worked with the country’s police in connection with the case.
Sri Lankan newspaper ‘Sunday Times’ had previously reported that a businessman had financed the murder as revenge for the death of his brother, who Razeen had allegedly killed. The newspaper did not reveal the businessman's identity, but did reveal that the assassin was offered 140 million Sri Lankan Rupees or MVR 15 million for the murder.
Sunday Times had also reported that a Maldivian named Bilal, who was arrested by Sri Lankan police, had admitted to killing Rabarey for a contract of MVR 14 million and gave details of the murder.
The police told Sunday Times that Bilal, stabbed Razeen eight times inside a van while a Sri Lankan accomplice pinned him to the seat.
“They had photographed the victim who was almost dead and sent it via mobile phone to the Maldivian businessman who had transferred Rs 500,000, and promised to send the remaining at the end of the month”, the police told Sunday Times.
The van used in the murder was reportedly identified with the help of CCTV footage. Razeen’s family confirmed that the vehicle was used by one of the suspects. Police also found the clothes the suspects wore during the murder.
Sri Lankan Daily Mirror had reported that Razeen’s body was found in an abandoned paddy field near the Tumbovila Bridge in Piliyandala, a suburb located 18 Kilometers south of the capital.
Razeen had been arrested December 2, 2007 as a suspect in the murder of Ali Ishaar (Choatey). However, he was released citing lack of evidence.