Nov 7, 2019 – The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has withdrawn the appeal form it had lodged at the Supreme Court appealing a High Court’s decision in a case involving the former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
In the year 2016, Mr Adeeb was sentenced to eight years by the Criminal Court for the theft of US$ 5 million paid by Kurehdhoo Holdings Pvt Ltd as the acquisition cost of Lh.Maabinhuraa. At the court hearings, it was revealed that Mr Adeeb actively participated in embezzling the US$ 5 million that was supposedly paid to Maldives Marketing and Public Relations (MMPRC).
Upon appeal by Mr Adeeb, the sentence was overturned by the High Court. Mr Adeeb at the High Court contended that the sentence of eight-year imprisonment delivered against him was among other things, unconstitutional and unlawful. Although Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya dissented, the majority opinion of the High Court was that the investigation and prosecution of Mr Adeeb in the case could have been tainted with political influence. Owing to this, the High Court decided to acquit Mr Adeeb of the charges with further instruction for a retrial.
Subsequently, the PGO lodged an appeal form at the Supreme Court to appeal the decision of the High Court. The Supreme Court, however, announced last Thursday that it had cancelled the appeal form since the PGO had withdrawn the appeal form it had lodged at the Court.
Although there has been no official confirmation by the PGO, it is assumed that this is the aftermath of Mr Adeeb signing a plea bargain with the PGO. As per the plea bargain, Mr Adeeb is to receive a reduced sentence of 20 years imprisonment owing to him confessing to seven new charged against him.
The new charges against him that have been already filed at the Criminal Court include two charges of money laundering, two charges of influence peddling, two charges of embezzlement and one charge of misuse of a government authority.
Apart from the eight-year sentence for embezzling the US$ 5 million acquisition cost of Maabinhura, the Criminal Court had previously sentenced Mr Adeeb for ten years for the possession of a firearm and for fifteen years over the explosion of the presidential speedboat – Finifenma.