Yameen during hearing at the High Court in the Aarah island appeal case.

Yameen asks for extended, expedited hearings in jail sentence appeal

The hearings began on Wednesday, nearly three months after the amendment was submitted.

16 June 2023

By Fathmath Ahmed Shareef

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Thursday requested the High Court to host extended hearings in his appeal against his 11-year jail sentence, as his portion of the appeal could not be heard even in Thursday's hearing. 

The Criminal Court on December 25 convicted Yameen of charges of money laundering and accepting a bribery over the leasing of V. Aarah through MMPRC and sentenced him to 11 years in jail.

  • He appealed the verdict in the High Court on February

  • The appeal was resubmitted with amendments to the High Court on March

The hearings began on Wednesday, nearly three months after the amendment was submitted.

  • The case is being conducted including the part of Yusuf Naeem, who is serving his sentence in the case as well

  • Since then, Yameen's part has not started as Thursday’s hearing had been too long

Thursday’s hearing was first to respond to the prosecution's response to the opening statements filed by Naeem at the opening hearing held in the High Court on Wednesday.

The hearings, which began at 2 pm, were adjourned for effective time, and the judges asked the state and defence about the manner and timing of the hearing at the start of the second session.

Yameen then asked for an opportunity to extend the time in the High Court as it is an appeal case.

"This is an appeal case, so I would like to ask you to extend the time a little and expedite the case. I would be very grateful for it. The Criminal Court is expediting its case. I would like to ask you to extend the time and expedite it in this court", Yameen said.

Yameen said:

  • 22 hours of testimony hearings have taken place in the lower court in recent days

  • He does not even have half an hour to meet his lawyers

  • He is concerned that appeals are being delayed due to the evidentiary hearings in the Criminal Court; he asked the High Court to take as much time as possible to ensure that this right is not violated

After Yameen's remarks, Justice Hassan Shafiu said the case contained a lot of documents, with each report containing more than 2,000 pages. However, they are trying to conclude the case as soon as possible, he said.

The judge then decided to clarify the matters to be verified by the court regarding the statements made by the two parties to Naeem's motions before commencing Yameen's part. The hearing ended after the court clarified the issues. 

Before the hearing, Yameen’s legal team’s chief counsel, Dr. Mohammed Jameel Ahmed also asked for the hearings to be extended.

Jameel said:

  • The High Court must schedule hearings for at least four hours

  • There is no urgent case in the lower court

The next hearing will be held next week. The court did not give a specific date.