Ex-pres requests Aarah trial to be broadcast live

Former President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has requested the Criminal Court allow his money laundering trial to be broadcast live.

The State has raised money laundering and bribery against the former president, as he is suspected of having deposited funds from the sale of V. Aarah to his personal account and laundered the funds. The trial began at the Criminal Court on January 2, and a hearing was held on Thursday. Although court proceedings are open to the public, the hearings are not broadcast live, unlike his previous money-laundering trials.

During Thursday's hearing, Yameen's lead counsel Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, said previous trials were also broadcast live and that a fair and just trial can only be conducted with more transparency.

The Aarah trial also includes a second defendant, Yoosuf Naeem from V. Felidhoo. He has objected to have the hearings aired live. On Thursday, his lawyer, Mohamed Shifaz, reiterated that the defendant did not wish for the hearing to be aired live. He said that if the court decides to broadcast the hearing, his part must be conducted separately.

The State said it has no objection to airing the trial. However, they objected to Naeem's request not to broadcast the hearings and said the case does not require secrecy.

Judge Ahmed Shakeel said a decision regarding the matter would be made before January 20 and that the decision would be relayed to both parties. The next hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 am on January 27.