PG Office seeks to televise former VP's corruption trial
Prosecutor General's (PG) Office is seeking to televise former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s trial on corruption charges.
The PG Office made the request at Thursday’s hearing on the seven charges raised against the former VP in relation to the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement.
The new charges raised against Adeeb are; two cases of involvement in corruption, two case of using his position to gain undue benefits, a charge of using his position unduly and two charges of money-laundering.
At the hearing, the state’s attorney noted the enormity of the case and highlighted that the charges against Adeeb are in relation to the biggest embezzlement case through state coffers in the country’s history.
She noted this involves the theft of over MVR one billion, and emphasized that this is a matter of public concern.
The state attorney also noted that a request letter was sent to the Criminal Court on October 17, and that a second one was sent this Wednesday after the court failed to respond to the first one.
Further noting that they had received a response to the letter seeking to televise Thursday’s hearing about an hour before the hearing, she said that the letter from court noted that there are procedures to be followed in doing so and that the judges’ council had decided against it after a request from the presiding judge.
However, the state attorney maintained the importance of broadcasting the trial to ensure transparency, and added that the PG office has been told that the defence had made the same request as well.
Further noting that former President Abdulla Yameen’s money laundering trial is being broadcast live, she stressed that airing Adeeb’s trial is a bigger obligation.
Adeeb’s defence lawyer, Mahfooz Saeed claimed that a number of things will be cleared up during the trial.
Mahfooz added that his client wants the public to know these details, and so requests to broadcast the trial live.
Both the prosecution and defence asked the presiding judge to review his decision over the matter.
Judge Rasheed concluded Thursday’s hearing after announcing that these requests will be resubmitted to the judges’ council.