Saturday 15th Jun 2024
Dhivehi Edition
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President Yameen's Court Case

Criminal Court Judge Refuses Live Broadcast Of Yameen Trial, Lies That Court Lacks Facilities

Judge Ahmed Shakeel, who presides over the Aarah (Vaavu Atoll) leasing case which involves the former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has claimed that broadcasting the trial live, as per the defendant's request, would be "difficult" due to the lack of facilities at the court to do so. The defence had requested that the trial be broadcast live during the last hearing of the trial.
The State had not objected to the former President's request to live-broadcast the trial.
At today's hearing, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed; the head of the former President's defence team; argued that the defendant was a political person and had also once served as president. They requested that the trial be broadcast live given the link between the proceedings of the trial and the public interest.
Dr Jameel further stated that the former President's previous case that had been heard at the Criminal Court had been broadcast live on the Court's own initiative.
Judge Shakeel claimed that going forward with a live broadcast of the trial would be "difficult" as the Court did not have the necessary facilities to make such a broadcast. The Judge said that since the trial was open, any who wished to observe the proceedings could come sit in the courtroom.
However, an employee at the Criminal Court told The Maldives Journal that the Criminal Court does indeed have all of the facilities required to make a live broadcast of the trial, and that Judge Shakeel had "lied". The employee said that it was likely that the decision had been made on orders from the government.
It is worth noting that access to the courtroom had been restricted as a result of the pandemic. It is also worth noting that the Criminal Court case regarding the leasing of Vodamulla (Gaafu Alifu Atoll) had been broadcast live; the Criminal Court trial regarding the leasing of Fuggiri (Raa Atoll) had also been broadcast via YouTube.
The former President has been accused by the State of accepting bribes and engaging in money-laundering with regards to the leasing of Aarah (Vaavu Atoll).