MP requests Judiciary Committee to look into ex-pres' trial schedule

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam has asked the Parliament's Judiciary Committee to look into the Criminal Court's decision to move up the sentencing date in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's money laundering trial regarding the sale of V. Aarah.

The sentencing hearing was initially scheduled for November 25, and the schedule for court proceedings was shared with the former President's legal team during a hearing held on January 27. However, the team was later informed that the sentencing date had been moved to June 30.

In a letter addressed to Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, MP Shiyam highlighted the changes to the court schedule and claimed that the changes resulted from undue influence on the judges by both the government and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

He further noted that while the schedule was moved up for President Yameen, the trial for Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof for his involvement in the MMPRC graft was delayed by the court until after the Maldives' situation settled down in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that court proceedings must be just and fair for all. However, the current circumstance points to the government exerting influence on the courts to deny President Yameen of his rights assured by the Constitution, he said.

'...Therefore, I request the Parliament's Judiciary Committee investigate why political charges have been raised against Yameen with the JSC influencing the judiciary, while Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof's case is at a standstill,' said Shiyam in his letter.

The State 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. In addition to the Aarah case, the court has informed that sentencing hearing regarding the sale of R. Fuggiri will also take place on June 30.