PG Office requests to detain ex-VP Adeeb until trial concludes

Prosecutor General's office has filed a motion at the Supreme Court seeking an order to detain former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor until the end of the appeal proceedings in his Maabinhura embezzlement case.

The Criminal Court sentenced Adeeb to eight years in jail in 2016 after he was found guilty of depositing the acquisition cost for leasing Lh. Maabinhuraa to Kuredu Holdings Private Limited, into the account of Millennium Capitals. Adeeb's uncle Haamid Ismail is a shareholder of the company, and Adeeb himself worked at Millennium Capitals before being appointed as the Tourism Minister during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's administration. Although High Court initially maintained Criminal Court's ruling, they later overturned the conviction and dismissed it during May this year.

Dismissing his conviction, the High Court referred to the controversial February 1 Supreme Court order, stating that the order and the terror charges that followed were politically motivated and violated the rights assured by the Maldivian constitution and criminal procedural laws. They also noted that the police investigations into the cases were also politically influenced.

However, the Prosecutor General's office filed an appeal over Adeeb's acquittal at the Supreme Curt, and sought a motion to issue an arrest warrant to detain Adeeb and to withhold his passport. While the Supreme Curt issued an order to withhold Adeeb's passport during June, Adeeb fled the country last week while an active travel ban was imposed on him.

The Criminal Court has remanded the former vice president to 15 days in custody after he was detained in India and returned to Maldives after his attempt to flee the country. His remand is due to fleeing the country while a travel ban was imposed on him.

During the appeal hearing held on Tuesday morning at the Supreme Court, the State requested to immediately detain Adeeb over the Maabinhuraa embezzlement case, although Adeeb is currently in custody over his attempt to flee.

Adeeb attended Tuesday's hearing without an attorney, and requested for an opportunity to appoint a lawyer to represent him in court. He said that while he is currently under state custody, he sees no purpose in issuing an additional court order to detain him further over the embezzlement case. While Criminal Court ordered to detain him due to flight risk, he does not believe the Supreme Court can order his detainment for the same purpose, said Adeeb.

Adeeb further said he did not wish to justify why he fled the country, and pointed out that he was not the only person to flee the country and seek asylum in another county. All such cases should be investigated, said Adeed, and affirming that he is continuing to support the state in their investigation into the MMPRC graft under an agreement with the Prosecutor Genera's Office.

"I am revealing those who are behind [the MMPRC graft], I am disclosing the money trail, I am sharing my phone, text messages and emails. High level politicians are linked to this case, due to which I continue to receive threats that endanger my life", said Adeeb.

Adeeb said the fact that the corruption case is being investigated by a presidential commission shows that the investigation into the case is still incomplete.

Expressing his wish to discuss his detainment in the presence of a lawyer, Adeeb asked to grant him 24 hours to appoint an attorney. The court granted him 7 days to appoint a lawyer, and said the Judge's Council will deliberate and come to a decision on issuing a court order to detain Adeeb as requested by the PG Office.

Adeeb was returned to Dhoonidhoo Jail after the hearing.