The Edition


Ex-VP Adeeb testifies against former president Yameen

Mariyam Malsa
22 August 2019, MVT 15:52
Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb testifying at the Criminal Court on August 22, 2019. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED
Mariyam Malsa
22 August 2019, MVT 15:52

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, on Thursday, testified against previous president, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, at the Criminal Court on behalf of the state.

The trial, broadcasted live, marked the first time the two met following Adeeb's arrest concerning the explosion aboard the presidential speedboat in September 2015, and his involvement in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) MVR 1.3 billion graft scandal.

The state's first question to Adeeb concerned the method used by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) to secure funds during his tenure as its Vice President. Adeeb stated that efforts to collect money would begin shortly before elections and that donators would only hand over MVR 100,000 - 200,000.

The former vice president denied that the USD 1 million deposited into Yameen's bank account in 2015 were intended for campaign purposes as claimed by the former president. Adding that no elections were held during that year, he stated that no donations were acquired in 2015.

Adeeb elaborated that Yameen never called him concerning campaign funds but had contacted him frequently over the money embezzled in the MMPRC scandal. He added that this included instances where the latter wished to acquire MMPRC funds which were deposited at private companies. As per Adeeb, these calls continued even after the presidential speedboat explosion.

The ex-VP asserted that MMPRC funds were deposited with SOF, the private company implicated in the corruption scandal, upon receiving orders from Yameen.

Furthermore, the former vice president stated that the remaining participants in the MMPRC scandal were the former president's 'friends', adding that the fact could be proven with Yameen's phone records and police evidence. According to Adeeb, the individuals in question even went to Yameen's residence to deliver funds.

During the trial, Yameen's lawyers questioned Adeeb over informing the Supreme Court of mental health issues. In response, Adeeb stated that he struggled with issues such as anxiety as a result of being imprisoned for four years and clarified that the aforementioned did not mean that his sanity was in question.

Adeeb guaranteed that he was not under compulsion to testify and that he desired to reveal the truth about those responsible for corruption. The former VP revealed that he had received death threats over providing testimony and that he had brought this to the attention of the authorities.

When Yameen questioned Adeeb whether he held any grudges concerning his treatment, the latter revealed that he had forgiven everyone including the former president.

However, harsh words were traded between the two over the course of the trial.

In addition to the USD 1 million transferred to his account at Maldives Islamic Bank, Yameen's money laundering charges include him depositing another sum of money into an escrow account at Bank of Maldives Ltd jointly managed by himself and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) instead of the funds transferred by SOF.

The MMPRC fraud was the largest recorded corruption scandal that took place in Maldivian history. Although authorities estimate that the state lost a total of MVR 1.3 billion due to illegal land leasing, some suspect the actual loss is even higher.