The Criminal Court has formed a judges' bench to carry out the money-laundering trial against former President Abdulla Yameen.
The court revealed via a statement that the defendant had sought to bring changes to the bench presiding over his case, following which a bench of five judges was compiled under the article 58 of the court’s regulations.
The bench consists of interim Chief Judge Ali Rasheed, Judge Ahmed Shakeel, Judge Mohamed Sameer, Judge Ali Adam and Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad.
Criminal Court’s Chief Judge Ahmed Hailam was presiding over the case before his suspension on 5 November, hours before the verdict hearing in Yameen’s trial was set to begin.
Following this, the former president's legal team has been asserting that government officials are trying to influence the verdict in his case, which the suspended judge has also reciprocated.
A hearing in the case has since been scheduled for 17 November.
Former President Yameen is accused of laundering USD one million through state-run Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) via a private company, Scores of Flair (SoF), during his five-year term which ended last November.
The hearings in the trial concluded on 9 October after the summary statements were heard at court.
Further accusations against him include using funds for financial gain despite being ordered to transfer it to an escrow account under an agreement with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
If found guilty of the charges which he has denied in court, Yameen could face a jail sentence between five to 15 years. He denied the accusation.
Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and MMPRC’s former Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath had testified against Yameen at court.