Forensic examiner presented as witness in Yameen’s Aarah case

The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has presented the forensic examiner who prepared the forensic report of the laptop of former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath, as a witness in the money laundering trial of former President Abdulla Yameen launched in relation to the lease of Aarah, Vaavu Atoll for resort development.

The state has pressed charges of money laundering and accepting bribes against former President Yameen in relation to the lease of Aarah for resort development through MMPRC. During the ongoing trial of the charges, the state has presented forensic examiner at Maldives Police Service (MPS) Ibrahim Zuhair as a witness in the case. Zuhair prepared the forensic report of the laptop of former MMPRC MD Ziyath, which produced evidence of communications conducted in relation to the lease of Aarah. During the hearing on June 19, Zuhair answered questions from both the prosecution and the defence regarding the forensic report of Ziyath’s laptop.

The PGO has submitted a total of 13 pieces of evidence in the case, while the defendant has submitted 7 pieces of evidence. Some of the evidence submitted by former President Yameen include documents on the communications between him and former Parliamentarian Yoosuf Naeem, who has been charged with bribery in the case. Other documents submitted by the defence include a statement by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and some documents from the President’s Office.

Aarah had been leased to a private company when it was taken back and handed over to Felidhoo Island Council in 2015. The island was later handed over to a company called 2G Maldives, before leasing the island again to a foreign company. The embezzlement of funds acquired from the lease of Aarah was uncovered during the investigation of the corruption scandal of MMPRC.