'Prosecutor General did not request for arrest warrant after ex-VP was freed'

Supreme Court has rebutted Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham's claims that the court did not issue an arrest warrant to detain former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor when PG requested for such an order over fears of flight risk.

The former vice president was detained in Tuticorin, India after he attempted to enter the country via sea route after fleeing Maldives. Indian authorities handed Adeeb over to Maldivian authorities, who transported him back to Maldives and jailed him in Dhoonidhoo. Adeeb remains a subject of investigation for alleged misappropriation of state funds, corruption and money laundering.

PG Bisham said the State requested the Supreme Court to issue an arrest warrant for Adeeb and for an order to withhold his passport prior to him fleeing the country. However, while the court issued the order to withhold his passport, the court did not issue an arrest warrant, said Bisham.

In a statement released in response to Bisham's revelations, the Supreme Court said Adeeb was abroad for medical purposes under the custody of relevant authorities when the request was made at the court by the Prosecutor General. Therefore, it would be against legal procedure to decide on a remand period in Adeeb's absence, said the Supreme Court.

The statement also noted that Adeeb was already serving a sentence when the request was made, and the court saw no purpose in issuing an arrest warrant for someone who was already serving a sentence. Therefore, the court instead issued an order to withhold his passport, which was the best course of action under the circumstance, the statement further said.

Supreme Court said the Prosecutor General's Office did not bring it to the court's attention when Adeeb's sentence was completed. The Prosecutor General did not request for an additional arrest warrant after he was freed, confirmed the Supreme Court.