High Court orders to detain Adeeb until appeal case is concluded

The High Court has ordered to detain former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Ghafoor until the end of his appeal trial.

Adeeb was freed by the Civil Court earlier this month when it dropped seven charges raised against him by the state in relation to the MMPRC graft. The presiding Judge, Ismail Rasheed in his verdict said while Adeeb has previously been charged and convicted for the MMPRC corruption, the seven new charges were raised against Adeeb unlawfully. The judge said the Maldives constitution does not entertain double jeopardy. The verdict was immediately appealed at the High Court by the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The first appeal hearing was held at the High Court on Thursday, where the state requested the court to remand Adeeb into custody until the end of the trial. The state said while Adeeb had previously fled from the country while a travel ban was imposed on him, he remains a flight risk.

During August last year, Adeeb attempted to flee the country in a tugboat to neighboring India while a travel ban was imposed on him. However, he was discovered by Indian authorities, after which he was returned to Maldives. He was jailed for 3 months and 18 days for the offence.

During Thursday’s hearing, Adeeb said he has already been tried and convicted for fleeing, and served three months and 18 days in jail for the offense, Adeeb said he does not believe he should be punished for the same offence a second time. He further noted that his place of residence was under the active surveillance of the police, and that he is accompanied by the police wherever he goes. Therefore, it is impossible for him to flee from authorities, said Adeeb.

Adeeb added that while the Criminal Court has also noted that several of his rights have been violated, the new case being heard had several legal issues. Therefore, he requests to appoint a lawyer, said Adeeb.

After the case was debated following the appointment of a lawyer, the judges bench granted the state's request to detain Adeeb. In its verdict, the court said the security installed at Adeeb's place of residence was optional and can be removed at any time upon Adeeb's request, and that this makes Adeeb, a person accused of several serious allegations under the Criminal Procedure Act, a viable flight risk. Therefore, Adeeb will remain in custody pending outcome of the appeal, said the court.