Vice President loses remand appeal

Vice President loses remand appeal
November 02 19:00 2015

Vice President Ahmed Adeeb remains in custody after losing an appeal of his detention over suspicion of links to an alleged assassination attempt on President Abdulla Yameen.

A three-judge panel at the high court ruled today the criminal court’s remand “does not violate legal and judicial procedures.”

Adeeb was arrested on October 24 from the airport on a charge of high treason. He was remanded for 15 days the next day

Contesting the order, Adeeb’s lawyers said the criminal court’s remand hearing was illegal as it was conducted via video teleconference. Further, although the police had declared Adeeb a danger to the public, they had not provided evidence to back the claim, lawyers said.

The high court, however, found no issue with the lower court conducting hearings from afar.

The appellate court ruling also supported prosecutors’ argument that a suspect could be held in remand based on the gravity of the crime and circumstantial evidence, even if police were unable to gather enough evidence to link the suspect to the crime.

Adeeb’s lawyer Hussain Shameem, in an interview with private Raajje TV, said: “The high court, in its ruling, did not respond to any of the legal issues we raised.”

Shameem said he plans to contest the ruling at the Supreme Court.

Adeeb has denied any links to the September 28 explosion on Yameen’s speedboat and has called for an independent and impartial inquiry.

Yameen escaped the blast unhurt, but First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim remains hospitalized for injuries.

The blast on the Finifenmaa speedboat has plunged Maldives into a fresh political turmoil.

At least 11 individuals have been arrested, the defence minister and police chief have been sacked, and more than a dozen homes and two islands have been raided.

The security forces also seized a large cache of weapons on Friday from an uninhabited island leased to a businessman linked to Adeeb. The haul included firearms missing from the state armory, hand grenades and homemade bombs.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had found no evidence of an explosive device on the boat. But, Home Minister Umar Naseer, citing expert opinion from Sri Lankans, forensic analysis by Saudi Arabians and evidence gathered by the Maldives police, said the blast was caused by a bomb targeting the president.

A joint police and military inquiry commission is investigating the incident.