Ex-pres Yameen's hearing scheduled for Nov 17

A hearing for former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's money laundering trial has been scheduled to November 17.

President Yameen's legal team confirmed to AVAS that the Criminal Court sent summons for a hearing scheduled for November 17, 1330 hrs. According to the summon, the case will be overseen by the Chief Judge's section.

The hearing was first scheduled to be held at 1300 hrs on Tuesday. However, the presiding judge Ahmed Hailam was suspended mere hours ahead of the hearing, during which a verdict was set to be delivered. While the court is currently being headed by Judge Ali Rasheed during Judge Ahmed Hailam's suspension, it is unclear whether he will be presiding over the case.

Judge Hailam was suspended by the commission on Tuesday over a Victory Day greeting sent by the judge. The cartoon illustration shared to the Criminal Court's recreation club's Viber group depicted president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed handcuffed and being dragged in chains behind the perpetrators of the November 3,1988 attacks by the fallen hero of the attack, Martyr Hussain Adam.

While Judge Hailam has apologized for his action, he has claimed that he was not aware the president and the speaker were illustrated on the drawing.

According to the Criminal Procedure laws, the power to make a decision on how to proceed with the case in Judge Hailam's absence lies with the Acting Chief Judge of the court. The law states that in the case the judge before whom a trial began cannot proceed with a trial for any reason, a judge assigned to the court shall proceed with the trial or will be granted a fresh trial.

It is unclear whether the case would resume from where it was left off, or if a new trial will be commenced.