Dr. Jameel: Obstructions delaying appeal of Yameen’s conviction

Former President and leader of the opposition Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom bring transported to Maafushi Prision. (Sun photo / Abdulla Shaathiu)

Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, the attorney of opposition lawyer, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has remarked that obstructions posed by the government are delaying the appeal of his client’s conviction.

Yameen was charged with money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development during his administration.

He was accused of abusing 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 said money.

Criminal Court found Yameen guilty on both charges on December 25.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the money laundering charge, alongside a fine of USD 5 million

Meanwhile, he was sentenced to four years in prison for taking a bribe. 

Yameen’s legal team has previously expressed their discontent over the judgment – expressing their intention to appeal.

However, the registry of cases submitted to High Court as publicized by the court, does not include Yameen’s appeal to date. Subsequently, many have raised concerns over the failure to appeal the case.

Commenting on the issue, Jameel told Sun on Tuesday that the appeal process was a difficult task that require a lot of documents. Underscoring not having received the complete case report as of yet – Jameel said that the appeal was being delayed due to obstructions posed by the government.

Former Vice President, opposition leader, former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's attorney, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

“Appealing is a very huge legal procedure. This trial had many blunders. These things need to be reviewed and researched in order to appeal, right?” he said.

Jameel who also served as the first vice president in Yameen’s administration said that charges in MMPRC graft case have only been brought against one person in four years while the government claims the involvement of over 250 people.

“The government only brought charges against one person in four years. Then how can we appeal [without the full case report]?” he questioned.

A 60-day period is granted to the defendants to appeal the case. Although there are days to the deadline – the importance of appealing the case is imminent as Yameen might be disqualified from contesting in the upcoming presidential election if he is not acquitted.