Today's hearing concludes, court yet to announce a date for next hearing
Today's hearing concludes, court yet to announce a date for next hearing
Defendant: How long was the investigation?
Muavviz: Not able to say
Defendant: How long was the investigation?Which floor did we meet, at the President’s Office?
Muavviz:Second or third, in a separate room
Defendant: How long was the investigation?Is there a possibility that the funds have no connection to SoF?
Muavviz:Investigation shows that the funds belong to the state. This decision was reached after investigating the transactions. Had told defendant not to touch the funds in MIC account, in February 2018.
Defendant: How long was the investigation?Had BML informed that the money was transferred (to escrow account)?
Muavviz:The defendant had informed the commission, had not verified separately
Defence: Was this investigation carried out as per other such money laundering investigations by ACC?
Muavviz: ACC acts the same, in all cases
Defence: Was former President Yameen’s rights protected during questioning, and were all procedures fulfilled?
Muavviz: His statement was taken to clarify things (not as a suspect), we were not able to do an audio recording of the session as we were prohibited from taking any such equipment when meeting with then president Yameen
Defence:Why is the former president’s fingerprint not there on his statement?
Muavviz: the former president denied it
Defence:Is there a law related to forming an escrow account?
Muavviz: There is not law prohibiting it, we had also sought permission from the finance ministry in doing so
Defence:Did you verify if the suspicious USD one million was in the former president’s account, on the day the escrow agreement was signed?
Muavviz: Had not verified on the day, had done so prior
Defence: Were you appointed as ACC president after or before giving statement to police
(Judge Hailam intervenes, asks the motive of question)
Defence: When did you meet the defendant over this?
Muavviz: in 2016, and early 2017, then ACC President Hassan Luthufee was at these meetings, which was held at the President’s Office
Defence: Has the commission ruled that the USD one million belongs to the state?
Muavviz: Looking into the transactions, ACC believes that the funds belong to the state
Ex-President Yameen expresses concern over state’s attorney “speaking without the judge’s permission”
Muavviz: MMA’s FIU had sent a suspicious transaction report (STR) to ACC, it states that the USD one million was deposited to the escrow account through ex-Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer’s bank account. The funds were transferred to Zameer’s account by a man named Waseem
Muavviz: The USD one million deposited to Yameen’s account was transferred to an investment account under his name, at MIB
Muavviz said that when questioned, the former president had said that the funds were obtained through various political activities.
Muavviz: former President Yameen was informed that these were state funds acquired illegally by SoF. He responded that the Ahmed Adeeb (then vice president) had sent him the money.
The ACC president added that the investigation was broadened after questioning the former president
Noting that a escrow agreement was signed between Yameen and ACC, Muavviz noted that the agreement states that the funds to be transferred to this account should be the USD one million in Yameen’s MIB account
While Muavviz noted that he was ACC’s vice president from September 2009 to July 2019, state asked when he noticed any suspicious transactions
Muavviz: It was confirmed in 2016, after an investigation into how SoF obtained state funds. The investigation showed that USD one million was transferred to Yameen’s account in two transactions, in October 2015. Worked to obtain statement’s from Yameen’s bank accounts afterwards, Islamic Bank had shared its statement copies.
Questioned various parties, attempted to take the former president’s statement as well, was only able to do so in 2017
When asked whether there was any money in the former president's account prior to the USD one million transfer:
Muavviz: the account was opened in October 2015 and that the USD one million was deposited in two transactions (of MVR 500,000 each) with the first deposit made six days after the account opened
Court to hear ACC President Muavviz Rasheed's testimony at today's hearing.
Defence had objected to hearing Rasheed's testimony, saying that there is a conflict given that its former President Luthufee's testimony is missing (state noted that Luthufee is out of the country)
Court accepts defence's witness and documentary evidence
Defence has asked to present all state witnesses at one hearing, “to protect defendant’s interests” and to minimize the possibility of witness tampering.
Judge Hailam noted that the state requests to present witnesses within two hearings, adding that the court intends to present as many witnesses as possible at first hearing. However, the judge said that presenting all eight witnesses on the same day “will be difficult."
Defence names Yameen’s former MMA Governor Azeema Adam
Documentary evidence (2) submitted: MMA statement (second paragraph), a Civil Court ruling on MMPRC, SOF case
Defence: Was there any money in Yameen’s account prior to the deposit of USD one million?
State: SoF’s account statements have been shared with the court and defence
Defence: While it is alleged that BML cheques were deposited, has MMA ever said that this was through money laundering:
State: MMA has not said that the funds deposited to Yameen’s account were obtained as such
Defence: is there a verdict against a promissory loan taken from MMPRC?
State: Not aware of such a verdict
Defence points out that the case is being "politically influenced"
Defence claims that Judge Hailam presiding over the case is a conflict of interest. When asked how, defence responded that JSC is investigating a complaint against him and asked to form a judges’ bench.
Judge Hailam said that he is yet to be informed of an investigation against him.
Judge Hailam further responded that forming a judges' bench is the chief judge's choice and that he, Criminal Court's chief judge, does not intend to use this as it “is an obstruction to ensuring justice”
Judge Hailam says broadcasting the trial does not deprive any rights of defendant, and that the decision was made after deliberation within the bench and after forming certain regulations. He added that the defendant was informed that the trial will be broadcast live
Says charge is in violation of the Criminal Procedure Act; charge form not formed as required in the said act; including addition of a “declaration form”
Lack of a regulation to broadcast trials, notes that this is against basic rights
Both legal teams have entered the courtroom, along with defendant former President Yameen.
The hearing begins and is being broadcast live.
Former President Yameen arrived at the court at around 10:39am
ACC President Muavviz Rasheed, named as a witness by the state, arrives at the Criminal Court
The eight names submitted by state as witnesses against the former president
1. ACC's former President Hassan Luthufy
2. ACC President Muavviz Rasheed
3. Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb
4. Former Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer
5. MMPRC's former MD Abdulla Ziyath
6. BML board member Mohamed Luvaiz
7. BML deputy CEO Mohamed Shareef
8. Mohamed Waseem Ismail