Yameen attends online hearing from Maafushi Prison

Yameen complains about lengthy hearings citing back problems

As the hearing dragged on for more than three hours, Yameen raised concerns citing his health.

30 May 2023

By Fathmath Ahmed Shareef

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Tuesday expressed concern over lengthy hearings in his trial in over the irregularities in the leasing R. Fuggiri island for tourism development through MMPRC.

The case is currently underway as the accused, Yameen, as well as Ahmed Krik Riza, have filed objections under the Criminal Procedure Code. All the objections could not be raised at the previous hearing as it had to be concluded due to concerns raised by Yameen over the four-hour-long hearing.

Even on Tuesday, Judge Ali Nadeem decided that the hearing, which began at 9.30 am, will continue till 2 pm. 

As the hearing dragged on for more than three hours, Yameen raised concerns citing his health. 

"I can't sit in one place for so long without taking a break. All my medical reports would have been submitted to the court. I would very much like to request that today's hearing should not be held that long and the remaining submissions for should continue another day," Yameen said.

Yameen said:

  • It is very difficult for him to sit for so long as he has very serious problems in his spine.

  • There is no provision for any treatment for his condition as he has been imprisoned.

  • Keeping the hearings short in lieu of his request and condition.

Following the arguments, Judge Ali Nadeem decided to adjourn the hearing. Yameen, however, argued that since he was in detention, he could not even walk out of the room where he was supposed to attend the hearing. Yameen said he could not use the five-minute break given earlier.

When the judge asked if a 15-minute break would be better, Yameen said it takes 15 minutes for him to reach the room where he was attending the hearing virtually all the way from his cell.

"The point of a break would be that I should be able to do something for long enough that it makes a difference. A person who is free and someone who is in prison is very different. So, unless it's an hour-long break at least, there will be no solution to my problem. I have to stretch," Yameen said.

Yameen requested to conclude Tuesday's hearing if the state did not object. He said that there was no way he could get physiotherapy while in jail and since the hearings did not have to be completed for a deadline, there was no need to make every hearing so lengthy. He said he was making the request as it was difficult to sit in a chair for a long time as there was a serious problem in his back.

Responding to Yameen's complaints, the judge then said that the hearing will be concluded at 1 pm. It ended at 1.04 pm.

While the judge shortened Tuesday’s hearing in response to the concerns raised on Yameen's behalf, his objections could not be filed and concluded on Tuesday. Therefore, in the next hearing, the remaining submissions will be made and they will be discussed.

Case Summary

Four persons have been booked in connection with the alleged irregularities in the lease deal of Fuggiri for development as a tourist resort. They are:

  • Yameen charged with accepting bribes and money laundering

  • Ahmed Krik Riza - charged with being a middleman in bribery and money laundering

  • Sun Construction - money laundering charges

  • Sun Investment - money laundering charges