Mahdia Tragedy: Lawyer writes DPP requesting withdrawal of 20 murder charges


Attorney Dexter Todd wants the case file against the 15-year-old girl who allegedly set fire to the Mahdia Secondary School female dorms reviewed and the 20 murder charges against her withdrawn.

His letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions follows the recent disclosures presented in the case.

Todd argues that it contains no “potential” evidence to lead to a conviction.

In the letter dated August 03, 2023, which is addressed to DPP Shalimar Ali-Hack, Todd asked for police prosecutors in the matter to be advised accordingly.

And if the charges are not withdrawn, Todd said he will be forced to institute civil and constitutional proceedings against the DPP Chambers and the State in which he will seek certain orders and declarations.

The 15-year-old girl is currently on remand at the Juvenile Holding Center, Sohpia Georgetown. She is facing a total of 20 murder charges,

The 20 children– 19 girls and one boy– died in the devastating fire started which started after 23:00 hrs on Sunday, May 21.

The next court date is September 1, 2023.

As such, Todd is hoping that the request and review can be accommodated before then.

The main reason cited by the lawyer is the lack of evidence to secure a conviction against his client.

“Full disclosure was completed in this matter on July 20, 2023, at the Mahdia Magistrate’s Court, and upon review of all the statements and other exhibits served on our client, our suspicions in this matter were confirmed. Upon perusal of the statements in this matter, there is absolutely no potential evidence that could support a charge of murder, much less secure a conviction against our client,” the lawyer explained in the letter.

“None of the witnesses placed our client in the area in which the fire started, none of them stated that they saw her light the fire, none of them stated that she accepted responsibility for the fire, none of them said they saw her walking or running from the area where the fire allegedly started prior to the great blaze. There is no forensic evidence in any form that incriminates our client. The only pieces of evidence that can be adduced from all the statements in this matter to the detriment of the accused are some of the witnesses saying that she said she will burn down the dorm, that she collected a lighter from a student, and that she collected a perfume from another student,” he further outlined.

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