MP Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon (PPM-Guraidhoo), the vice-president of the opposition PPM, has said that the former President Abdullah Yameen's acquittal by the Supreme Court of the 2019 Criminal Court verdict that had sentenced him to five years in prison demonstrates the extent of the ruling MDP's influence over the lower courts.
The former President had served more than 700 days of his five year sentence when he was acquitted by the unanimous opinion of the judicial bench that had presided over his appeal. The Supreme Court had overruled the verdicts of the lower courts and had noted several faults in their verdicts.
The Supreme Court had noted that the prosecution had provided no supporting evidence to corroborate the testimony given by former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation Ahmed Ziyath, their testimony would not be admissible as evidence against the appellant. Judge Mahaz had also noted that the State had not provided any evidence to support the claim that the appellant had called Ziyath with regards to the transferred funds.
The Supreme Court had also noted that due to the discrepancy that existed with regards to the cheque number as it appears on the cheque that had allegedly been used to deposit the funds from MMPRC to SOF Pvt Ltd and as it appears on SOF’s financial statement. Judge Mahaz stated that this discrepancy cast a doubt over the prosecution’s claim that the funds transferred to the appellant’s bank account by SOF Pvt Ltd were funds that rightfully belonged to the State.
MP Ghassan had tweeted that "President Yameen's Supreme Court acquittal is a manifestation on extent of duress on and manipulation of lower courts of law by the Executive and the Legislature; both in the hands of the MDP".
He wrote that "judicial reform starts with independence and non-interference".