Aarah trial: Hearing cancelled after Yoosuf Naeem’s lawyer falls ill

Screen grab from a hearing in former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's money laundering trial on June 19, 2022.

The hearing scheduled at the Criminal Court for Sunday in the money laundering and bribery trial over the sale of V. Aarah for resort development was cancelled after the lawyer of one of the defendants called in sick.

The sale of the island has produced money laundering and bribery charges against former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

He is accused of misusing his position and taking a USD 1 million bribe to facilitate the sale of Aarah to Yoosuf Naeem, a former parliamentary representative for Felidhoo constituency, and laundering the money.

Naeem was charged with giving the bribe.

Both pled “not guilty” to charges.

Criminal Court states the hearing scheduled for 09:30 am Sunday was cancelled due to Yoosuf Naeem’s health condition.

The court is currently hearing testimony from state witnesses.

Two state witnesses – both of them police officers involved in preparing forensic reports submitted as evidence in the case - have testified.

The court is also set to hear testimony from former MMPRC managing director Abdulla Ziyath and former vice president Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor - both of whom have been convicted of charges related to the MMPRC corruption and money laundering scandal, and are now key state witnesses in the case.