Minister: Meetings not held because ex-president's lawyers do not want to

Combined photo shows former president Abdulla Yameen (R) and Home Minister Imran Abdulla (L).

Home Minister Imran Abdulla has said that meetings with former President Abdulla Yameen were not being scheduled because his lawyers did not wish to do so.

Yameen was scheduled to appear at the Criminal Court over new charges levied against him by the state. However, the hearing was delayed because Yameen's lawyers had not been able to meet with him.

Yameen had said yesterday that he had not been able to view any documents related to the charges, because the documents were with his lawyers. Opposition parties said that Yameen had not been allowed to meet with his lawyers since March.

Home Minister Imran Abdulla tweeted today that the Maldives Correctional Services had attempted to arrange meetings between Yameen and his lawyers on multiple occasions. The Minister said that no court in the Maldives had ordered him to arrange meetings between Yameen and his lawyers.

"Meetings are not held because his lawyers do not wish to do so." said the Minister.

Maldives Corrections has previously said that Yameen's lawyers had been informed that meetings can be conducted through phone calls as common procedures and that visits to the prison can be arranged once all the relevant permits were obtained due to the extra precautions in light of COVID-19.