The state has submitted 86 evidences against former President Abdulla Yameen to the Criminal Court today.
He is being persecuted for accepting bribe and a money laundering.
Yameen already have a five year jail sentence for laundering over USD 1 million of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Corruption. However when COVID-19 cases surged in Maldives in late April, Yameen was transferred to house arrest in late May.
Yamin is being prosecuted for two counts over how leasing of an island called Fuggiri. He is being charged for accepting 1.1 USD million as a bribe in leasing the island, and laundering the money.
The money was then transferred to a general investment account under Yameen's name and invested for 36 months. The state has requested this money be returned to the state as well.
A total of 86 evidences were submitted in court today, including oral and documentary evidences. Due to time constraints, they did not reveal why each evidence was submitted.
Former Managing Director of MMPRC Abdulla Ziyath, Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, parliament member for the Meedhoo constituency Ahmed Siyaam Mohamed (Sun Siyam) and former parliament member representing Kendhikulhudhoo constituency, Ali Mauroof were included in the witnesses by the state.
Adeeb and Ziyath were important witnesses in the case involving Vodamulla, which lead to the verdict of the five year jail sentence he is currently serving.
Numerous amounts of letters and transactional documents were summitted as documentary evidence as well.
Lawyer Adam Shameem, who had submitted evidence on behalf of Yameen, said they had also submitted the same evidence for both charges. Including five oral evidences, a total of 30 evidences were submitted.
Yameen's defence claimed it was a legal transaction done in order to buy US Dollars. They provided Deputy Mayor of Male' Ahmed Nareesh, Abdulla Rasheed and Shuaullah Saeed from Gaafu Alifu Kolamaafushi as witnesses. They sat Abdulla Rasheed is the person Siyam had given money to to purchase the Dollars. Nareesh and Shuaullah were present when this transaction happened, they said.
They also submitted documents to discredit the evidence submitted by the state and to question how trustworthy the evidences provided by Adheeb and Ziyath were.
Siyam is to act as a witness for both the state and Yameen. Yameen and Siyam were close before, working closely politically as well when he was still president. Siyaam started to distance himself from Yameen in 2018, when the Presidential Election started to close.
When the hearing started, Yameen's lawyer Abdulla Shiyaz said he was concerned they had not yet received a report from Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding this issue. He said that despite the fact they requested for the documents on June 30, they have not yet received them. Until the state provides them with the necessary documents, they cannot defend Yameen against the charge, he said.
Chief Judge Ahmed Shakeel decided to allow Yameen's legal team another opportunity to acquire the required documents. However, he decided to against their suggestion to delay submitting the evidences until they received it.
Shakeel said any evidence that has to be submitted prior to the hearing has to be provided ten days earlier. The next hearing is scheduled for August 22.
The last time hearing on this case was on January 7. Yameen had denied the allegations then.