Ex-pres Yameen's legal team reprimands state TV over unfair reporting

Former president Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s legal team has alleged that state TV, Public Service Media (PSM) spread false information in reporting the latest hearing in the former president's appeal trial.

The former president is serving a five-year imprisonment for money laundering. He appealed the case to High Court and the hearings are ongoing. During the last hearing, President Yameen gave a statement related to Gdh. Vodumulaa, in which he said he heard the name of the island for the first time during the Criminal Court trial. He made the same claim during the trial of the Criminal Court trial.

President Yameen said he was aware that the island was leased by former Vice-president Ahmed Adeeb to two of his close associates. However, PMS had reported in a way that could be interpreted that he had not heard about Vodamula before the appeal hearing, said the legal team.

President Yameen’s legal team said the former president had not lied at any stage of the trial and hearings. President Yameen was not questioned over Vodamula during the investigation, and he heard the island’s name for the first time during the lower court hearings, affirmed the team.

The statement details that president Yameen’s testimony during the last appeal hearing was based on the information he received later. That information was shared with the president by his legal team after gathering the information from various sources. Adeeb had not discussed with President Yameen about leasing the island to his close friends, and President Yameen had not lied, said the team.

It is dismaying that the public media is spreading false information, while one of the fundamentals of journalism is to report correct information, said the legal team. From the very beginning, PSM has been biased in covering the trial of President Yameen, and has attempted to instigate a bad image of him among the public, said the team. PSM's actions are against broadcasting procedures, disciplines of journalism, and strict measures must be taken against PSM, said President Yameen’s legal team.