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Swede in Maldives trial for UK tourists' deaths

The Local · 12 Apr 2012, 07:12

Published: 12 Apr 2012 07:12 GMT+02:00

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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.

Story continues below…

The British couple were in the Maldives on their honeymoon and leave behind a 6-month-old infant.

The Local/rm


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:06 April 12, 2012 by calebian22
This is why you should go to the Seychelles which is 82% Catholic and has a government that is not steered by religion.
00:50 April 13, 2012 by mikewhite
After the Ozzy Osborne episode you'd have thought people would realise these things were not like a kid's scooter.
02:37 April 23, 2012 by maldivian
@Calebian, the truth is Islamic sharia has more rights to even

non Muslims. For what I am aware the defendant's lawyer is correct, that

according to Islamic sharia he cannot charged like that (so for me the

state attorney is not in line with islamic sharia in this case).. There

was a story I read when I was younger. From what I can remember it was a

story of two persons who committed adultery (one was Muslim, the other

non Muslim). Prophet Muhammad asked the non Muslim's (jewish or

christian) tribe's leaders to give him the punishment as per his

religion. Also in Maldives since about 1960s not a single person has

been given death sentence and actually enforced it. In 1988 there were a

group of Sri Lankas who had links to the then terrorist "tigers" who

were having a guerrilla warfare against Sri Lankan government also

attacked Maldives. In one day about 19 people were killed. Some of them

were given death sentence. But even for them the sentence was changed to

life sentence, and probably by now all of them have been handed over to

Sri Lanka. In Maldives among Maldivians there have been some amount of

kills, but even for these cases because it was not proved there was

intentional murders, or witnesses did not see they were intentionally

murdered the suspects or defendants were freed. Just few days ago the court ruled to free one foreigner charged with the death of another foreigner stating that there is no concrete evidence he attempted to kill the other person. You have no idea how

much islam gives to protect anyone, even from unfair blame. I am

Maldivian, I am Muslim, and in this case I do believe he did not

intentionally murder. So he should not be charged. I strongly

think that will be the end result in the court process. But he will be

however charged with driving without license, for which probably there

will be some small fine. From what I can remember what I learned the

victim's family also has a say (even if the person was in fact a

murderer). If in case of real murder, victims family can say they want

the defendant to be executed or fined. I read from another news article

that one of the british couple's mother actually do think it was

unintentional. Where in any country you find such rights for defendant

and victims family. There was one case in Maldives when a victim had

many siblings, and one of them said he do not want the defendant

to be executed even if charged, and he was not executed.
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