Prosecution requests detainment of ex-VP Adeeb in first appeal hearing

Former VP Adeeb arrested. (Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

The prosecution in the appeal case of former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has requested the High Court to detain Adeeb pending the outcome of the trial.

The prosecution requested to do so in the first hearing of the appeal case in the High Court. Adeeb attended the hearing without a lawyer, and was provided the opportunity to appoint a lawyer. A hearing of the case is scheduled for 15:00 today.

The hearing today was scheduled upon the request of the state. The arguments regarding the detainment of Adeeb is to be heard today. 

Adeeb requested time for the appointment of a lawyer and said that he only received the chit for the hearing yesterday, which did not give him enough time to appoint a lawyer.

State prosecutor Ahmed Naufal, responding to the assertion said that sufficient time had been provided to Adeeb, if he had received the chit yesterday. He said that the state was requesting the detainment of Adeeb due to public interest and previous experiences where Adeeb had attempted to escape the country. He said that there should not be an issue in continuing the hearing without the appointment of a lawyer and that the prosecution had no issue in rescheduling the hearing for another time today, to provide Adeeb with the sufficient time to appoint a lawyer.

Adeed, responding to this, said that he had completed the sentence handed down to his attempted escape last year after pleading guilty. He said that it was sad that the state would assume that he would keep trying to flee.

Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya presiding over the case said that there was a possibility that Adeeb may escape again and that a lot of time was not usually provided for the appointment of a lawyer. When asked if Adeeb could appoint a lawyer before 15:00 today, Adeeb said that he would try to do so.

Adeeb has seven charges to his name. They include charges of money laundering, embezzlement, graft and abuse of power, based on the investigation into the MMPRC embezzlement case conducted by Maldives Police Service, Anti-Corruption Commission, and Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission.

Judge Ismail Rasheed of the Criminal Court had declared the charges against Adeeb invalid during pre-trial proceedings to decide the validity of the plea bargain – which Adeeb told the court he had been forced to sign in exchange for medical furlough, on July 14, effectively setting him free.