The Criminal Court, on Sunday, postponed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's hearings until his legal team can meet Yameen in Maafushi Prison.
During a virtual hearing held Sunday over the bribery charges against the convicted former president, presiding Judge Ahmed Shakeel stated that Maldives Correctional Services will be ordered to facilitate the meeting.
The decision to delay the hearings was a result of Yameen's legal team being unable to share and discuss various documents related to his charges.
Yameen's lawyer and former deputy, Dr Mohamed Jameel stated that due to additional documents submitted by state prosecutors, he disagrees with scheduling hearings until the legal team can meet Yameen.
As both state prosecutors and Yameen's attorneys have acknowledged that Yameen has yet to meet his lawyers, Judge Shakeel said hearings would resume within 15 days after Yameen is afforded the opportunity to meet his counsel.
In December 2019, the Criminal Court sentenced Yameen to five years in prison and a fine of USD 5 million, on money laundering charges concerning the embezzlement of MVR 3.4 billion from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
The appeal process of his conviction was accepted by the High Court on December 18, 2019, and is ongoing. However, hearings at the High Court have also been delayed due to Yameen being unable to meet his representatives.
Meanwhile, The opposition coalition, consisting of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC), has called on Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla to ensure that the former president is guaranteed his fundamental rights and services while detained, and to release him from imprisonment.