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Jailed ex-VP 's lawyer argues lack of time for handgun defence

Mohamed Visham
08 August 2016, MVT 12:26
Former VP Adheeb waves to reporters after he exits the Criminal Court following the verdict. MIHAARU PHOTO
Mohamed Visham
08 August 2016, MVT 12:26

Jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor was not given sufficient time to prepare his defence over the charges of possessing a hand gun, his lawyer told the High Court on Monday.

Adheeb was handed a 10 year prison sentence on Monday after the Criminal Court found him guilty of possessing a hand gun in June.

The once powerful ex-VP was found guilty after two witnesses testified that they had seen the ex-VP with the handgun during the mass opposition rally on May day last year.

His lawyer Moosa Siraj pointed out that he was only allowed to meet his client twice a week which was not sufficient time to mount a defence as the ex-VP was defending himself in several trials simultaneously.

Adheeb was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of orchestrating a blast aboard the presidential speedboat in September last year.

He is serving 33 years in prison on two separate counts of terrorism and one for graft.

More terrorism and graft charges are pending against the ex-VP.

Responding to defence's arguments, the state prosecutor noted that three months had lapsed between the charges being filed and the initial hearings.

Siraj also argued that the hand gun has still not been found by the police and his client was sentenced was based solely on witness testimonies.

The High Court had concluded the hearings on the appeal and a verdict is expected during the next hearing.

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