Attorney allowed 3 hours to meet Ziyath, prepare for 15 charges

Criminal Court has given three hours for former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Abdulla Ziyath to meet his attorney in preparation for defense against 15 charges pressed against him for embezzlement.

During Thursday morning’s hearing, Abdulla Ziyath’s attorney Ahmed Yameen complained the Maldives Correctional Service was refusing to allow sufficient time for him to meet his client.

Judge Ali Adam said at the conclusion of the hearing that the attorney would be allowed three hours to meet Ziyath and discuss the case at Criminal Court this Thursday.

Yameen had said during the hearing that the defense had not been allowed sufficient time to prepare a response to the charges.

He said Maldives Correctional Service only allowed four meetings per month, and refused to rearrange meetings missed for any reason.

In addition to the three hours given to the defense to discuss the case this Thursday, Judge Ali Adam said he would instruct Maldives Correctional Service to provide sufficient opportunity for the attorney to meet Ziyath.

The State prosecution read one charge against Ziyath during Thursday’s hearing; which was that Ziyath received a USD 300,000 cheque for lease on R. Kandoogali by one Mohamed Hussain Fulhu from R. Inguraidhoo, but that the money had not gone into MMPRC.

The charge has been levied upon him under Article 210 (b) of the new Penal Code, in reference to Article 215 (a) of the Penal Code.

Ziyath faces a sentence of three years, two months and 12 days to eight years in prison if found guilty of the charge alone.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 11 am on November 11.

Ziyath is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after he was found guilty of embezzling USD 5 million MMPRC received as acquisition cost for Lh. Maabinhura.