Chief Judge says trial of Aarah case will follow procedures

Chief Judge of the Criminal Court of the Maldives Ahmed Shakeel has said the trial against former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom over the sale of Aarah, Vaavu Atoll, for resort development will follow all court procedures. He made the statement in the latest hearing of the trial held on September 6.

The hearing was scheduled to take testimonies from key witnesses, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath.

During the hearing, Yameen’s defence team questioned the plea deal made between the state prosecutors and Abdully Ziyath. They cited a news article that highlighted various issues in the plea deal and requested the court to hear the testimonies from the key witnesses after the state prosecutors divulge details of the agreement.

In response, Chief Judge Shakeel said that the trial hearings will follow procedure and will not rely on claims made by news magazines. He noted the court procedures have determined what can be considered valid objections.

Furthermore, Chief Judge Shakeel decided to continue with the witness testimonies and allowed the testimony of Abdulla Ziyath to be heard first.