Court to hear appeal of vice president’s detention today

Court to hear appeal of vice president’s detention today
November 01 14:24 2015

The High Court will review today Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s detention on suspicion of links to an alleged assassination attempt on President Abdulla Yameen.

The hearing will take place at 4:45pm today.

Adeeb was arrested on October 24 from the airport on a charge of terrorism, weapons possession and plotting a coup d’état, his lawyer Hussain Shameem has said

The criminal court had extended his remand to 15 days.

He was detained nearly a month after an explosion on the presidential speedboat that injured the first lady. The president escaped unhurt.

The government, citing forensic analysis by Sri Lankan and Saudi Arabian experts, has said the blast was caused by a bomb targeting Yameen.

Shameem has called Adeeb’s detention illegal.

Pointing to comments made by Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon, that Adeeb had been arrested to “protect the integrity of the investigation,” Shameem said: “There are five conditions for detention according to the constitution, if the suspect may flee, if he may influence witnesses, tamper with evidence, abscond from trial and if the individual is a danger to society. Minister Dunya has said Adeeb was arrested for the investigation’s purposes. This is unconstitutional and illegal… An individual can only be arrested after gathering evidence.”

Dunya, in an interview with India’s The Hindhu, had also said the government is not yet certain who was involved in the blast.

Shameem went on to question the impartiality of the inquiry, noting Home Minister Umar Naseer had said he suspected Adeeb on the first day of the blast. Naseer also said he would gather enough evidence to incriminate Adeeb and called the stripping of Adeeb’s powers a blessing from God.

“[Naseer] has made a judgment and now he appears to be running after an individual and not the evidence. This is very concerning. If an impartial inquiry and trial is conducted, the vice president believes his innocence will be proven,” he said.

Adeeb has not been questioned since the first day of his arrest, Shameem added.

Yameen, in a rare public address on October 25, said his deputy had been arrested for obstructing the inquiry by exerting undue influence over the police force. Adeeb had siphoned funds from leasing islands for tourism and spent it on the police force, he alleged.

In response, Shameem said: “Adeeb was in charge of the defence force, he was overseeing their affairs, as well as the police forces. The vice president is a hardworking man. He gets along with everyone, so he has worked closely with the police. But he believes this work has been professional and that he has done nothing to exert undue influence over the police force.”

A total of seven individuals have been arrested over the blast. These also include three soldiers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has meanwhile said there is no evidence of an explosive device on Yameen’s speedboat. The security forces seized a large cache of weapons on the reef of an island leased to a close associate of Adeeb’s.

Abdulla Ziyath, the former head of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), a state-owned company that deals with tourism leases, is also under arrest.

Shameem, who also represents Ziyath, said the High Court has accepted an appeal of Ziyath’s detention as well.

Additional reporting and writing by Zaheena Rasheed

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