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Emergency motion in parliament over ‘stalled’ investigations

Ex-president Abdulla Yameen is facing trial on money laundering charges.



Former president Abdulla Yameen outside his house as he was being taken to court on February 18. – File photo

An emergency motion was submitted to parliament on Wednesday over concerns that investigations into the former administration have stalled.

Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed told parliament the public is extremely concerned that the “wrongs” committed by the former administration are not being investigated.

“We pledged in our campaigns that we will investigate the wrongs done by the former administration,” he said.

Among the most contentious acts committed by the former administration were putting parliament under military lockdown, removing the roof of the supreme court building to arrest supreme court justices, declaring two states of emergency, jailing political rivals, questionable arrests of hundreds of people and “stealing [a] record amount” of money from state coffers, Waheed said.

During the debate that followed, other MPs from the ruling coalition raised concerns about a perceived lack of progress in the investigations. Some called for the removal of heads of key institutions to “get justice”.

Meanwhile, Galolhu Uthuru MP Mickail Naseem said the high court that ordered Abdulla Yameen’s release after he was arrested earlier this year was stacked with judges loyal to the former president.

Yameen is facing trial on money laundering charges but there has not been a hearing for over two months. The state’s key witness, former vice president Ahmed Adeeb, who was in detention, is out of the country on medical leave in India.

Yameen was detained in February for allegedly bribing witnesses, but he spent just 23 days in jail before being put under house arrest. The high court freed him in late March.

JSC member and Thulhaadhoo MP Hisaan Hussain also criticised the criminal court for stalling the trial.

Meanwhile, opposition MPs said the motion was a ploy to divert attention away from the failings of the current government, including its silence over the re-capture of fugitive Abdulla Luthufee.

“We are talking about being unable to recapture a fugitive found guilty of the biggest atrocity, the attack on 3 November 1988, who was serving a sentence and released in a former administration, president Nasheed’s administration,” Progressive Party of Maldives MP Ahmed Shiyam said.

“The government [has] failed to explain to the people what happened when he spent seven weeks inside the embassy in Colombo. This is the justice we deserve. How many Maldivians lost their lives during that coup?”

Former economic minister Mohamed Saeed said: “Progress cannot be achieved in the spirit of taking revenge.”