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Not forced to confess, case withdrawal must be reviewed: ex-VP Adeeb

Ahmed Aiham
16 September 2020, MVT 13:01
Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb took a u-turn on his statements, claiming that he was never forced to agree to a confession agreement with the state. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
16 September 2020, MVT 13:01

In an apparent u-turn, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, on Tuesday, claimed that he was not forced to sign a confession, in agreement with the state, adding that the withdrawal of his cases must hence be reviewed.

In 2016, during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration, Adeeb was sentenced to 33 years in jail over his involvement in the MMPRC graft, for orchestrating an assassination attempt on President Yameen, as well as illegal possession of weapons.

However, Adeeb walked free on July 14, after the Criminal Court wiped away all charges against him over claims that the state had entered a confessional agreement with the ex-VP on unlawful grounds.

Whilst representing himself at the High Court (HC) after the Prosecutor General's Office appealed the Criminal Court decision, Adeeb declared that he was never under duress.

He also asserted his belief that the jurisdiction of the case review falls on the Criminal Court.

Adeeb previously claimed that he had signed said agreement in order to attain permission to go abroad for medical treatment, due to his sickness at the time of incarceration. According to Adeeb, then-Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham, along with some senior police officers, had met with him to formulate the agreement.

"They told me I could travel for treatment after signing the agreement. They were the ones who drew up the contract; I wouldn't have known how to", testified Adeeb, during the Criminal Court hearings.

State prosecutors also stated that Adeeb was yet to lodge any complaints with respect to the alleged coercion, noting that requirements for the confession agreement do not, in particular, force Adeeb to make a certain statement for the investigation.

Although the agreement was later rejected, state lawyers noted that the lower court had failed to review evidence submitted against Adeeb, as well as granting the opportunity to retract the confession, and for additional investigation into the matter.

Following the conclusion of the appeal hearing, if there are no further clarifications, Adeeb's next appearance at the court would be for his verdict hearing.

The case is presided over by Judge Mohamed Niyaz, alongside Judge Hussain Mazeed, Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya.

The High Court has remand the former vice president until the end of his appeal.

In a press conference held July, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem stated 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.

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