The trial over money laundering charges against former President Abdulla Yameen has been scheduled for Sunday.
While the Criminal Court scheduled a hearing in the case on Thursday as well, the court later revealed that he was summoned for “administrative” purposes.
Court failed to hold a hearing in the case earlier as the court failed to notify that a minimum of five days are required after the latest documents in the case are handed over, to schedule another hearing.
During the preliminary hearing held on 25 April, court had given Yameen 10 days upon his lawyers request.
State had presented former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, former President of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Hassan Luthufee, current ACC President Muavviz Rasheed, former Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Abdulla Ziyath, Mohamed Waseem, former Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer as well as board members of Bank of Maldives, Mohamed Luweiz and Mohamed Shareef as witnesses during the last preliminary hearing.
The first hearing in the case was held on February 18 where the court ordered to keep him remanded for the remainder of the trial over alleged witness tampering. High Court ordered to release him a little over a month later while under house arrest, noting the lack of evidence to prove attempts to influence witnesses.
While money laundering charges were filed against the former president on February 13 regarding the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement scandal, investigations into the graft case show that a company implicated had deposited MVR one million to Yameen’s private account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).
Further, a report publicized by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) reveals that the MIB account was opened just six days before the funds were transferred. While the ACC confirmed the transfer in November 2017, Yameen was asked to deposit the funds to an escrow account at the Bank of Maldives (BML), under an agreement with the corruption watchdog.
While Yameen initially claimed that the USD one million had been transferred to this escrow account, he later admitted that the money handed over to the ACC-held account was not the USD one million from SOF, but borrowed from then-Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer.