Former President Abdulla Yameen's defense stated in Criminal Court on Wednesday that Yameen had not accepted a bribe over the lease of Raa atoll Fuggiri, and the money he received was for the purchase of US dollars.
Yameen, who is currently serving an 11 year prison sentence in Maafushi Prison, is facing charges of accepting a bribe of USD 1.1 million while leasing Fuggiri and using the bribe for money laundering. Sun Investments, Sun Construction, and "Krik" Riza were also being charged in relation to the same issue.
While giving the opening statement, Yameen's defense said that the USD 1.1 million he received was not a bribe for leasing Fuggiri, but instead was due to a monetary transaction between Yameen and Chairman of Sun Siyam Group and Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed. The defense stated that evidence will show Siyam received an equivalent amount in Maldivian Rufiyaa, as it was a currency exchange transaction.
Regarding the defense's request to reject some of the evidence submitted by the state, Judge Ali Nadheem has given them until 10 am on Thursday to submit their proposal regarding this matter.
Despite the defense team's request to extend the deadline by another day, Judge Ali Nadheem did not change his decision and maintained the original deadline.
The witness statement process, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed to Sunday, May 7. MP Siyam is amongst the witnesses being summoned to court.
Yameen is currently serving a prison sentence after being found guilty of accepting bribes in over the lease of Vaavu atoll Aarah and using the bribe for money laundering. His defense has appealed this ruling in the High Court.