Former VP Adeeb: I had to sign plea deal in exchange for medical assistance

April 28, 2019: Former VP Ahmed Adeeb. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb has said that he was forced by the state to sign the statement of guilt in order to obtain medical treatment abroad. 

Adeeb was speaking in the Criminal Court hearing today regarding the charges brought against him in connection with the MMPRC scandal.

Presiding judge Ismail Rasheed posed a number of questions regarding the plea deal Adeeb has with the prosecutors during today’s hearing.

Adeeb is charged with two counts of embezzlement, two counts of undue influence and obtaining unfair advantage, two counts of money laundering and misuse of official authority or capacity.

Under the plea deal, Adeeb is to admit to all seven charges which could see a sentence of 20 years.

Who proposed the plea deal?

Judge Ismail Rasheed inquired about the nature of the agreement and which party that initially proposed the deal.

The state prosecution stated that it was Adeeb who proposed the deal and the charges in the case were brought in relation to the deal as well.

However, Adeeb said that he was in dire need of medical help with glaucoma. He had wished to travel abroad to obtain medical care. The former Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham and Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Riyaz proposed to make the agreement under the guarantee that Adeeb would be permitted to travel abroad for medical purposes.

“Three years had passed to the deprivation of medical care for me. I didn’t know what would happen to my eyes. So they told me that I could travel abroad after signing the plea deal. They formed it. I do not know how to create such agreements.” Said Adeeb in today’s hearing, “They wanted to go for an agreement. That an agreement must be made. That a lot of things will be included in the agreement. Including my medical arrangements. That I would be permitted to depart within seven days of signing. So, under the condition of medical care arrangements, I went after the formation of the statement of guilt.” 

He noted that he was undergoing the remand of the Maabinhuraa case which was at the Supreme Court when he was permitted to travel. He said that the doctor had requested a second consultation six months after the first, which had not happened. 

When questioned by the judge whether the PG Office had the power to make such deals with prisoners under the custody of the Maldives Correctional Services, state prosecutors said that they believed that under the law, there were no obstructions for the PG to do so in order to uphold the individual rights and rights stipulated in the constitution. 

Judge Ismail Rasheed then asked Adeeb what his views were on the statements of the state. Adeeb said “Under the law of parole, I am entitled to the rights (medical care). However, it was impeded by the PG, with an agreement including a clause stating it as a condition (of admittance). So it means, just as the doctor says, and is in the agreement, I could not have obtained medical care had I not signed it.”

Further questions in the trial concerned the Supreme Court case surrounding Maabinhuraa, and the investigation into the allegations against Adeeb by the state.