After Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem, on Wednesday, announced the Criminal Court's decision to drop all charges against former vice president Ahmed Adeeb, the PG on Tuesday, revealed that the case is now lodged at the High Court.
Noting that the Criminal Court's verdict was in violation of the Criminal Procedure Act, PG Shameem expressed his confidence that the High Court would accept the appeal.
Further, PG Office requested for the ex-VP's passport to be withheld and issue a travel ban to Adeeb.
In July 2020, Adeeb entered a confessional agreement with the state over his charges. However, during the last hearing held at Criminal Court, Adeeb declared that he signed the agreement in order to attain permission to go abroad for medical treatment due to his sickness at the time of his incarceration.
During his last hearing, the Criminal Court decided that there was no room to pursue the charges against Adeeb, citing that the state had "wrongfully" entered a confessional agreement with Adeeb.
In a press conference held Tuesday, PG Shameem declared that given the documentary evidence gathered against Adeeb, irrespective of his confessional statement, PG Office could potentially charge the former vice president with over 150 separate charges that could land him over 800 years in prison.
Although over 700 individual pieces of evidence were identified by prosecutors, only seven charges were initially filed against Adeeb, in order to honour the confessional agreement signed between the state.
Moreover, Shameem said that the Criminal Court had referred to documents that were not submitted to the investigation, adding that a case would be submitted against presiding Judge Ismail Rasheed, to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Adeeb, who was the Minister of Tourism during the MVR 1.3 billion graft of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), was charged with two counts of embezzlement, two counts of money laundering, as well as exerting influence for illicit gains, exerting influence to earn illicit gains for another party, and abusing his official position.
Reports released by investigative bodies last October list 267 individuals that have allegedly benefited from the largest corruption scandal recorded in the history of Maldives.
The embezzlement case is being investigated by police, in collaboration with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery, and the Prosecutor General's (PG) Office.
Of those named as being involved in embezzling state funds via MMPRC, only former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is presently serving jail time.
Yameen was convicted of money laundering over a transaction that involved a deposit of USD 1 million by SOF Pvt Ltd, to his personal account at Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).
The Criminal Court sentenced the ex-president to five years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of USD 5 million over the money laundering charges.