The former managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation cannot be tried on fresh corruption charges because he was never questioned about the case, his lawyers told the criminal court on Thursday.
Abdullah Ziyath faces more than 30 counts of corruption for misappropriating US$44 million (MVR721 million) by leasing islands and lagoons owned by the state.
According to Mihaaru, his lawyers raised a pre-trial motion urging the court to annul the charges as he was not questioned by the police about these cases after his arrest in October 2015.
State prosecutors insist that he was questioned in November 2015.
His lawyer, Ahmed Yameen, said those questions were asked in reference to another case Ziyath was convicted for. He is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence for the theft of US$5 million from the MMPRC.
The MMPRC corruption scandal, which came to light two years ago, is the biggest corruption case in the history of the Maldives.