Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem has called upon the government to make a decision regarding the implementation of the death penalty for Mohamed Shaifan, convicted in the 2012 murder of Ali Shifan. 

This statement from the PG follows the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the High Court’s ruling of capital punishment for Shaifan, marking the first instance since 2016 that the Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence.

Shaifan is one of six individuals charged in the case related to the attack on Ali Shifan near West Park in 2012, and he has been convicted of murder since 2016. However, the Maldives has maintained a moratorium on the death penalty since 1953.

The recent development stems from the Supreme Court’s decision to rescind Article 1204 (c.2) of the Maldives Penal Code, a move seen as removing a significant legal obstacle to the implementation of ‘qisas,’ a form of legal retribution in accordance with Islamic Shariah. The four-judge bench of the Supreme Court argued that this article had hindered the process of implementing qisas, which is explicitly stipulated in the Quran and must align with Islamic principles.

With the removal of this legal hurdle, the path is now clear for the implementation of qisas in the Maldives, bringing the legal framework in line with Islamic principles. As the government faces the decision of executing the death penalty for Mohamed Shaifan, this landmark ruling will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for capital cases in the country.