High Court rejects ex-President Yameen’s appeal in Aarah case

Leader of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom speaks at a campaign event in Vilimale' on May 10, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

High Court, on Monday, has rejected an appeal by opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom over a decision made by Criminal Court pertaining to money laundering case against him in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development.

Criminal Court’s decision to reject pre-trial motions submitted by Yameen in the over discrepancies that arose in interpretation had been appealed to High Court.

Yameen was charged with money laundering and taking a bribe in connection to the case in November 2021. 

He is accused of misusing his position and taking a USD 1 million bribe as well as laundering the money in the sale of Aarah to Yoosuf Naeem, a former parliamentary representative for Felidhoo constituency. 

Meanwhile, Naeem is charged with giving a bribe in the same case. 

Both the prosecution and the defendants in the case were granted a 15-day period to submit their pre-trial motions by Criminal Court.

Judge Ahmed Shakeel, who presides over the case, had stated that the 15-day period expired on May 27, according to the law on rules of interpretation.

Underscoring that all parties had submitted their pre-trial motions after the deadline – the Judge had decided to reject all of them.

With Yameen’s side having appealed the Criminal Court’s decision – High Court’s Registrar has decided against accepting the appeal. The Registrar’s decision rejecting the appeal underscored that a lower court’s decision can only be appealed to the High Court if it is unlawful or if a mistake had been made in the interpretation of law.

On this note, the Registrar stressed that Yameen’s appeal had failed to point out any such matters in the Criminal Court’s decision.

“The appeal points mainly state that a judge had misinterpreted the law in a decision made during a hearing,” the Registrar’s decision read.