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Gayoom responds to brotherly cry for “cooperation”

20 July 2018, MVT 16:33
President Abdulla Yameen (R) meets former president and now-estranged half brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in 2017. PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
20 July 2018, MVT 16:33

Accused of attempting to overthrow the government, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom continues to deny any involvement in the controversial verdict of February 1.

The 85-year-old Gayoom, serving his one and a half year prison sentence in Maafushi Prison, was arrested under the accusation of being involved with opposition leaders in the bribery case of the Supreme Court.

Speaking at Haa Dhaal Atoll's Hanimaadhoo, during his official visits to the northern atolls of Haa Alif and Haa Dhaal, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom had revealed Maumoon as the person whom he still holds the most respect for, further stating that he does not see Gayoom isolated and alone in prison.

With many accusations of illegal activities to his name, Maumoon’s involvement in these crimes have privileged him many opportunities for a life at home. If his involvement in the Supreme Court's February 1 verdict was the same as all others, Yameen claimed that Gayoom deserved to be put through prison, but did not go on to disclose who he meant by "others".

“At first we heard hopeful news that he would up settle … so his stay in jail has nothing to do with me, said Yameen, reiterating his defense on the incarceration of key political figures.

“When the accused is brought in for questioning, with the first of the accusations involving the communication he had through a phone and the internet… then the police would want to access the phone,” said Yameen, later stating the actions of the police in the investigation were in no way the entitlement of a certain individual, with regards to police warrants to search the mobile phones of those implicated in the case.

Serving time in Maafushi Prison, former Police Commissioner Abdullah Riyaz, who is also said to be a part of these illegal activities, was requested to present his phone for investigation and at first denied the request. Buckling under pressure, Riyaz later presented his phone for investigation but gave the wrong pin code. Thus, his phone had to be opened in court, said Yameen, stating that Riyaz faced criminal sentencing because of his efforts to delay legal proceedings. The president added that Riyaz too would not have faced such sentencing had he cooperated.

Gayoom's lawyer and younger brother, Maumoon Hameed in response tackling Yameen’s speech, tweeted, “Pres. @maumoonagayoom is under no illusions: all of the injustice he, @afarismaumoon @MNadhym & their whole family are suffering would magically vanish the day he & Faris politically realign themselves with the govt. That they still refuse to surrender to tyranny says a lot.”

He also revealed in his tweets that Minister of Defense and National Security, Adam Shareef while visiting Gayoom in Dhoonidhoo conveyed the president's desire for cooperation, but in response Gayoom denied the allegations made against him and declared it unfitting to accept crimes he has not committed.

According to Yameen, even though many citizens are claiming made up stories and falsified rumors, he reassured that what he had said was nothing but the truth.

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