Swede in Maldives trial for UK tourists' deaths
Published: 12 Apr 2012 07:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2012 07:12 GMT+02:00
A 23-year-old Swede stands charged with manslaughter in the Maldives, after the quad bike he was driving crashed into a tree, killing two British honeymooners.
The accident occurred in August last year at a beach resort in the Maldives.
The Swede was allegedly driving the vehicle with the British couple as his passengers. Suddenly, the man last control over the bike, which crashed into a tree.
The British newlywed couple were killed in the accident and the Swede received injures serious enough to require medical attention.
In the first hearing of the trial, the Swede’s lawyer told the court that it was the couple that had requested the defendant to give them a lift and drop them at their room, according to local news site Minivan News.
However, the state attorney said at the time that there were witnesses who could testify that it was the defendant who had suggested he would give the couple a ride.
According to Minivan News, the formal charge against the Swede is disobedience to order, which is a crime in the area, and if resulting in the death of another it is dealt with accordingly to Islamic Sharia law.
Under the Maldivian constitution, the courts turn to Islamic law in areas not covered by the established law.
However, the man’s lawyer has argued that, as the defendant is a non-Muslim, he can’t be charged under Sharia, reports the site.
Further, the lawyer said that the only crime his client can be accused of is carrying passengers on a vehicle which was not intended to carry people, something that was “common practice” at the resort.
According to daily Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish foreign ministry has not been notified of the charges as the man has not requested consular assistance.
The British couple were in the Maldives on their honeymoon and leave behind a 6-month-old infant.