Vice president’s lawyer questions impartiality of boat blast probe
Naseer, the co-chair of a special inquiry commission formed to investigate the alleged attempt, told newspaper Haveeru yesterday that several senior police officers had met him shortly after the blast and said they suspected the vice president’s involvement. Naseer also expressed confidence of gathering “enough evidence for a conviction.”
Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s lawyer has questioned the fairness and impartiality of the investigation into a blast on the president’s speedboat that led to the vice president’s arrest on Saturday.
Briefing the press last night, Hussain Shameem referred to Home Minister Umar Naseer saying that Adeeb was the prime suspect of the investigation from day one.
Naseer, the co-chair of a special inquiry commission formed to investigate the alleged attempt, told newspaper Haveeru yesterday that several senior police officers had met him shortly after the blast and said they suspected the vice president’s involvement.
Naseer also expressed confidence of gathering “enough evidence for a conviction.”
The home minister’s remarks suggested that Adeeb was unfairly targeted, Shameem told reporters.
“He was not arrested because there was evidence, but based on an intelligence report. This is not how criminal cases are conducted. Evidence has to be found first and [suspects] must be arrested later,” he said.
Shameem also expressed concern with President Abdulla Yameen saying that the vice president must prove his innocence. The president appears to have “misunderstood how the criminal justice system works,” the former deputy prosecutor general said.
Contrary to the president claiming that “bomb-making materials” were discovered in the homes of suspects with link to Adeeb, Shameem said police records of the raids on various residences in Malé makes no mention of such materials.
The police compiles an inventory sheet of items confiscated in raids, he explained.
The police meanwhile interrogated the vice president for about three hours yesterday, Shameem revealed, adding that Adeeb answered all the questions put to him without exercising the right to remain silent.
The vice president’s lawyers have submitted an appeal to the High Court today challenging the legality of his arrest.
Shameem said Adeeb’s detention was extended to 15 days in questionable circumstances as he was not brought to the criminal court in Malé.
The remand hearing was held via teleconference. Shameem said police officers had put up a board with “criminal court” written on it outside an interrogation room at the Dhoonidhoo Island detention centre.
Adeeb asked the judge three times for an opportunity to speak, but the judge appeared not to have heard due to intermittent video transmission.
“The video kept freezing,” he said.
The judge decided that the vice president posed a danger to society and ordered the police to keep him under custody.