Teleconferencing facilities to conduct criminal court proceedings are being set up at the police detention centre on the island of Dhoonidhoo.
The criminal court’s spokesperson told The Maldives Independent that a permanent teleconferencing facility will be established in Dhoonidhoo “just as it has been established in other courts across the country.”
“Our aim to establish a reliable teleconferencing facility in Dhoonidhoo so that remand hearings and collecting of statements by suspects can be carried out without the suspect being physically transported to a court in Malé,” he said.
Dhoonidhoo is 15 minutes away by speedboat from the capital.
The remand hearings of detained former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was conducted via teleconferencing. His lawyer said the police had put up a board saying ‘criminal court’ outside an interrogation room.
Adeeb’s appeal of his arrest at the High Court was also conducted via video conference.
He is under police custody on suspicion of links to the September 28 blast on the president’s speedboat. The government says a bomb targeting President Abdulla Yameen caused the explosion.
Adeeb, who was impeached by the parliament last week, denies any involvement in the alleged assassination attempt.
Several of the former vice president’s associates, including the former managing director of the government’s tourism promotion office, the president of the Maldives chamber of commerce, and a social media activist, are also being held at the Dhoonidhoo detention centre.
His lawyer, Hussain Shameem, had contested the legality of holding remand hearings without bringing Adeeb to the criminal court in Malé.
A police media official insisted at the time that “a courtroom” has not been built at the detention centre, “but when a hearing is going on via audio and video link, that place will be considered part of the court for the duration of the proceedings.”
According to a regulation governing procedures for trials, remand hearings can be held via teleconference for security reasons.