High Court on Monday overturned the jail sentence passed on former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb over the explosion aboard the presidential speedboat, and ordered the Criminal Court to hold a retrial.
The explosion on the speedboat 'Finifenma' took place in September 2015 when both then-President Abdulla Yameen and his wife were on board. The former First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim was injured in the incident.
The Criminal Court in 2016 found Adeeb and his bodyguards, Hassan Rikaz and Ahmed Amir, guilty of involvement and sentenced them to 15 years and 10 years in jail respectively.
Closing Adeeb's appeal on Monday, the High Court referred to the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court on February 1, 2018, in which the apex court ordered the release of nine high profile prisoners, including Adeeb. While the top court later annulled certain clauses of the ruling such as the order to immediately free the prisoners, the High Court highlighted that the statements on politically influenced verdicts were not nullified, and thus there were grounds to doubt that Adeeb's jail sentence was also politically influenced. High Court further noted that although the Supreme Court did not refer individually to cases in its ruling, the court had listed names of individuals facing criminal charges including Adeeb.
Hence, the High Court bench unanimously decided to order the Criminal Court to hold a retrial for Adeeb regarding his charges over the speedboat blast.
The judges' opinions differed regarding Adeeb's incarceration for the retrial. While presiding Judge Mohamed Niyaz was in favour of detaining Adeeb until the end of his retrial due to the gravity of the case, Chief Judge Shujau Usman and Judge Hussain Shaheed argued otherwise.
Hence, the bench decided that Adeeb may be detained for 15 days, during which the lower court is to make a decision regarding his detention.
Meanwhile, Adeeb is also sentenced to 10 years for illegal weapons possession, and eight years over corruption charges.