Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb has accused President Abdulla Yameen of instigating unrest during the 2015 May Day protest with the intention of jailing opposition leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
The 20,000-strong May Day rally, sparked over the jailing of opposition leaders, was the largest anti-government demonstration in Maldivian history. Nearly 200 protesters, including leaders of three allied opposition parties, were arrested. Many were injured in violent clashes.
“As someone with inside knowledge of Yameen’s actions, I can say that Sheikh Imran was jailed without the opportunity of a fair trial with the influence of President Yameen himself,” Adeeb said.
Imran was jailed on terror charges over a speech made at a political gathering.
Adeeb called on the chief justice and Supreme Court judges to review the conviction, saying he was prepared to testify in court and disclose any information he was aware of.
“Yameen saw the May Day protest as an opportunity and planned to cause disruptions and blame it on Imran,” he said.
Adeeb was tourism minister at the time and one of Yameen’s most trusted deputies.
In early 2016, just months after Adeeb was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a bomb attack on the president’s boat, then Home Minister Umar Naseer accused Adeeb of planning to set off bombs during the rally.
In June 2016, Adeeb was convicted of terrorism after being found guilty of carrying a pistol during the May Day rally.