The Criminal Court will issue a verdict on President Abdulla Yameen’s money laundering charges in 26 days, the judge declared on Wednesday.
President Yameen was charged with money laundering three months into President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration.
Charges were raised after a company heavily linked with Yameen’s former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb transferred $USD 1 million to the president’s bank account.
On Wednesday the prosecution and President Yameen’s defence lawyers delivered their concluding statements to the court. At the end of the five hour long hearing Judge Ahmed Hailam declared that he will issue a verdict on November 5.
The $USD 1 million was transferred to Yameen was sent by SOF Private Limited, a company who received both legitimate and stolen money from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Over $USD 90 million was stolen from the state company by former Vice President Adeeb, who was later convicted of setting off a bomb in the presidential yacht with President Yameen onboard in an assasination attempt.
Charges against Yameen was raised by Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham despite him alerting the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) about the transaction.
On Wednesday’s hearing Yameen’s lawyer Ali Shah argued that the state did not prove that the money sent to Yameen’s account was acquired by illegal means.
“SOF worked with MMPRC and received millions of dollars for their work. No state institution has blacklisted SOF to date,” he said.
Shah stressed that the ACC has not declared that the transaction between Yameen and SOF was illegal. He also noted that Yameen obliged when ACC told him to transfer the received amount to an escrow account with the corruption watchdog as a partner.
Lawyer Shah dismissed Adeeb and former MMPRC managing Director Ibrahim Ziyath’s statements to court as biased and influenced. He said that Adeeb and Ziyath’s statement should be excluded by the court when reaching the judgment.
The defence also questioned the circumstances under which Yameen was charged. Lawyers said that the former president was the target of a political trial.
In conclusion lawyer Shah requested the court to dismiss the charges against President Yameen because the prosecution failed to produce any evidence of a crime.