The Criminal Court on Thursday decided not to accept President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Vice President Faisal Naseem as witnesses in the money laundering and bribery case against former Vilimale’ MP Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik.
Nihan has been charged with money laundering and bribery after investigators found he asked for and accepted bribes from former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor. This was in exchange for influencing the decisions he made as Vilimale’ MP and chair of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
Nihan was found to have kept and used the illegally obtained funds.
Moreover, the state had stated that none of these funds was disclosed in the financial statements between 2014 and 2019.
During the trial, Nihan has presented numerous names as defence witnesses, including the President, Vice President, former and current Parliamentarians as well as Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem.
The state put forth a request, asking not to accept some of the names on this list.
The President and Vice President's names were listed in connection to the Parliament’s Financial Committee’s audit reports from the 18th Parliament.
The Judge made the decision to exclude their names on the bases that they were not connected to the case.
While PG Shameem is still included in the list, this marks the first time a Prosecutor General is summoned to the Criminal Court as a defence witness.
He is listed in connection with some of the statements made by him during the time he was Adeeb's lawyer.
Despite the Prosecutor General's Office requesting to exclude PG Shameem, the Judge stated that sufficient reasoning was not provided for it.
Other names on the list include Minister of Youth Ahmed Mahloof, former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, and members of opposition PPM and PNC.
The Judge has decided to accept these names as defence witnesses.