Yameen: Do support death penalty, but there are obstructions to implement it

PPM's leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom speaks at a press conference on August 11, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Underscoring that he has always believed in and supported the death penalty – opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has stated that there are many obstructions to actually implement it.

Yameen had made the remark in his first press conference following his acquittal from a money laundering conviction last November.

In the press conference that spanned over an hour, Yameen said that his opinion regarding death penalty has still not changed – reiterating that he has always supported its implementation.

Stressing that implementation of death penalty is by no means an easy task for any president – he described it as the most important responsibility a person in the capacity of a leader will bear.

“Many changes need to be brought for the implementation of the death penalty. The laws, judges’ views and their practices need to be changed as well. There are many administrative procedures which need to be fulfilled before doing something that has been ceased in the Maldives for 60 years,” he added.

Yameen also raised doubts regarding the Maldivian judiciary when considering implementing the death penalty.

In this regard, he questioned whether the people still trusted how the investigative procedures are undertaken in the Maldives, especially with regard to criminal matters.

Noting that the judicial process commences at the investigative stage – Yameen said that rulings of judges should be questioned in light of how much the quality of investigations has decorticated.

He added that seeing the Supreme Court make amendments on different occasions after pronouncing the death penalty is one reason which raises questions regarding the initial ruling in the first place.

Yameen also stressed that death penalty cannot be implemented without addressing the issues within the judicial system.

He also said that the implementation of death penalty is not a responsibility that his administration had left unattended.

On this note, he said that a certain minister cannot alone take credit for the preparations made to implement the death penalty. Rather, he said it was a decision by the entire cabinet back then.