Former Vice President of the Maldives and attorney for convicted ex-President Abdulla Yameen, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has criticized two High Court judges who heard the appeal case of Yameen and moved to uphold Yameen’s conviction.
Yameen was jailed for five years for money laundering in 2019 by the Criminal Court of the Maldives. The High Court, yesterday, issued a verdict after proceedings in his appeal case. Yameen’s defense lawyer Dr. Jameel said after the trial that the two judges that moved to uphold the verdict had interpreted the law incorrectly and that this was something evident to anyone who watched the live broadcast trial.
All three judges of the High Court bench which heard the appeal case yesterday unanimously moved to uphold the verdict, with some indifference. Judge Hussain Shaheed ruled that the Criminal Court ruling was wrong. Judge Hussain Mazeed, Judge Mohamed Niyaz both ruled that there was no legal basis to overturn the conviction of Yameen.
A press conference by the defense team last night, saw Dr. Jameel criticize the Criminal Court verdict which he described as full of mistakes and legal impairments regarding evidence. The verdict had a lot of misinterpretations of the laws related to money laundering, the Criminal Procedure Code, Penal Code, and the Constitution, said Dr. Jameel who is the lead on the case.
“The citizens of the Maldives, today saw a wrongful interpretation of evident facts, in obvious issues and issues where the judges either turned a blind eye or did not find any issues in,” said Dr. Jameel.
Dr. Jameel said that issues such as procedure in the verdict of the Criminal Court were read out by Judge Shaheed and that he was the only judge to issue a verdict within the basis of the constitution.
Dr. Jameel also went on to vow that the case would be appealed to the Supreme Court, where justice for Yameen was very much guaranteed.
“I wish to say that, god willing, we are very confident that President Yameen will attain justice from the Supreme Court when the case is appealed.” Said Dr. Jameel.
He said that if the High Court verdict on the case is upheld, the presumption of innocent until proven guilty granted to all citizens, under Maldivian laws would be lost. The entire basis of a fair and a free trial would also be lost if the verdict was upheld, said Dr. Jameel.