Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb dropped some major bombshells regarding the USD one million transferred to former President Abdulla Yameen’s account.
He was presented to the Criminal Court as a state witness in Yameen’s money laundering trial on Thursday, where he denied claims that he had ordered SoF -private company implicated in the biggest corruption scandal in the country’s history; the MMPRC embezzlement- to transfer the funds.
Yameen had claimed, both in his statement and to court, that USD one million was transferred to his account through SoF after he had asked his then deputy to send him “campaign funds.”
However, Adeeb denied that SoF would have any funds related to the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), and said that it was Yameen that had ordered SoF to transfer the USD one million to his account. He highlighted that there were no elections in 2015, hence “no campaign funds”.
Adeeb also noted that he was not questioned regarding the MMPRC embezzlement during interrogation, despite the fact that USD one million transferred to his account had been the acquisition fee for the lease of an uninhabited island called G. A. Vodamulaa.
Despite having a number of lawyers to represent him, Yameen chose to question the witness on his own at Thursday's hearing as well.
As such, the former president asked Adeeb whether he harboured any hard feelings for him due to the alleged treatment while under arrest. Adeeb responded that he does not.
Yameen also questioned Adeeb’s relevance as a witness in the trial, given that he was not even questioned regarding MMPRC.
“I am relevant because [Yameen] made me, by accusing me of ordering SoF to transfer the USD one million to your account”
~ Ahmed Adeeb
In addition, Adeeb said that Yameen had ordered the transfer of funds, “not me.” This led to Yameen inquiring on how he could have done so.
“You created the board, appointed the managing director, and when the managing director gives the order it is facilitated. I am not trying to be exempted. I am relaying to you how things took place, including my role. I should also be held responsible for the state funds, as well as President Yameen”
~ Ahmed Adeeb
While Yameen continued to deny having links to officials from SoF, Adeeb said that these people “had even been to his home”.
“President Yameen had communicated with them. They used to phone Yameen. Had even taken money to his residence. This is clear from my phone records, as well as police evidence”
~ Ahmed Adeeb
Adeeb also said that Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB)’s manager had contacted Yameen when officials from SoF went there to transfer the funds to his account; the USD one million was transferred in two USD 500,000 transactions.
While Adeeb was PPM’s vice president prior to his appointment as Yameen’s deputy in July 2015, he emphasized that the party never received such hefty amounts as campaign funds; he said that they received around MVR 200,000 at the most.
Adeed added that he had acted as per Yameen’s orders, and that the former president “had ordered [him] to act unlawfully.”
“ON MY OWN WILL AND OF SOUND MIND”
Adeeb, who recently attempted to flee from authorities, also spoke on the various threats directed to him over this controversial testimony.
While an international legal firm had claimed that he had sought India’s protection due to threats to his life, Adeeb on Thursday said that this team’s statements were released without consulting with him.
However, Adeeb did note that there have been various threats targeted at him especially for agreeing to testify against Yameen in court.
Noting that there is fear that he could even be killed in jail, Adeeb said that these threats have been shared with relevant institutions.
“I am here today because there are a number of things to be clarified for the public. I have not been pressured, and I am here on my own will and of sound mind”
~ Ahmed Adeeb
ACC PRES. TAKES THE STAND FOR A SECOND TIME
President of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also took the witness stand for the second time in the trial, and was questioned regarding the commission’s report on the matter.
He said that they had compiled two reports on the matter “following police inquiries” and that commission members had passed to investigate and compile report.
While defence lawyers questioned him on whether then-ACC president Hassan Luthufee was present at the meeting, he said yes.
However, the defence noted that the meeting notes does not have Luthufee’s signature and asked the reason for this.
Noting that remaining three members have signed it, Muavviz said that Luthufee has been out of office since early this year.
Muavviz also noted that SoF’s account had USD 800,000 prior to the USD one million, and highlighted that the funds had been the acquisition fee (USD 1.2 million) for the lease of an uninhabited island called GA Vodamulaa.
The state has also named Abdulla Ziyath, then MMPRC managing director, as a witness; he is to testify the that the funds transferred to Yameen’s account was the Vodamulaa acquisition fee. Ziyath is to testify in court this afternoon.