The Criminal Court on Thursday commenced trial for the new charges against jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb and concluded the first hearing by granting him ten days to appoint a lawyer.
Thursday’s session was the preliminary hearing for eight out of nine new charges against Adheeb, all of which are connected to the corruption scandal of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) which surfaced in 2015. It is the largest case of corruption in the history of the Maldives, where MVR 1.2 billion worth of state funds received as acquisition costs via island leases for resort development had been embezzled through the corporation.
The new charges against Adheeb are abuse of power for illegitimate private gains.
In the preliminary hearing, Adheeb requested a period of 30 days to find a lawyer. Judge Adam Arif presiding over the case responded that the Criminal Procedure Acts grants only a period of 10 days to appoint legal defence. However, he stated that an extension may be granted under a reasonable excuse.
The judge announced that official hearings will commence after 10 days.
Adheeb is already serving a long jail sentence of 33 years for his involvement in the MMPRC corruption and for orchestrating an assassination attempt on the incumbent president. Should he be convicted of the new charges, he may face a sentence extension of maximum 27 years.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News