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Presiding Judge of ex-Pres' money laundering case on leave

Mohamed Rehan
30 August 2022, MVT 13:48
Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen during a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) rally--
Mohamed Rehan
30 August 2022, MVT 13:48

Hearing on the trial against former President Abdulla Yameen, scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, was cancelled after the presiding judge taken vacation prior to session.

The case concerns with graft and money laundering tied to the lease of Vaavu atoll Aarah during Yameen's administration. The former head of state faced similar charges on different money laundering cases previously.

The most recent hearing on the case was on August 23, involving admission of evidence and testimonies. The presiding judge of the case, Justice Ahmed Shakeel confirmed admission of two witness testimonies were scheduled for August 30, and subsequently tabled the hearing for 09:30 am.

It was later revealed the witnesses whom Justice Shakeel referred to included former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath. While testimony admission of the two had been previously tabled, defense requested to summon both parties together for a same hearing for their respective testimonies.

While Tuesday's hearing has been cancelled, it had been made privy that the presiding judge of the case, Justice Shakeel had taken a vacation until September 6, 2022.

The former president is charged with money laundering charges, and on the allegation of accepting bribery in the lease transaction of the local island in question; Vaavu atoll Aarah. Apart from the former president, state is prosecuting former Felidhoo MP Yoosuf Naeem for graft and money laundering charges tied to the transaction.

Both trials proceed simultaneously.

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