The Maldives’ ex-vice president on Thursday testified in open court that he had been an accomplice to his former president in corrupt dealings and said that he knew that a sum of laundered money was transferred to his former boss’ bank account.
Ahmed Adeeb told a criminal court hearing that he has done illegal things on the advice of former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, one of which was to facilitate laundering $1 million obtained through a corrupt deal leasing out an island for tourist resort development. The company later transferred the money to Yameen’s account, Adeeb said.
The court hearing was the first time both Yameen and Adeeb have faced each other since 2016, when Adeeb, who was vice president, had been jailed for trying to assassinate the then-president Yameen.
Adeeb said he had no personal grudges against anyone. But he has agreed to be a state witness and disclose all information regardless of any punishment for his own role.
“The things I am saying in court today, I don’t mind getting a sentence for saying these things. The public should get their funds back,” he said.
Yameen himself cross-examined Adeeb, during which he questioned his former deputy whether by claiming to have carried out presidential orders if he is admitting to doing illegal deeds himself.
“Yes, not just me, President Yameen as well,” Adeeb replied.
He said the money found in Yameen’s account wasn’t election campaign funds as claimed by Yameen’s defense, at which point a heated argument ensued between the two.
Adeeb was a trusted confidante to Yameen before being accused of trying to assassinate him.
A blast rocked Yameen’s speedboat as he was returning to the capital island of the archipelago state from the airport after making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Yemeen’s wife was injured.
FBI sleuths who helped in the investigations said they found no trace of explosives. But Adeeb was jailed for a total 33 years for the alleged assassination attempt and separate charges of possessing an illegal weapon and corruption.
His sentencing was criticized as politically motivated.
After Yameen lost a re-election bid last year to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the courts set aside Adeeb’s conviction as well as those of other leaders imprisoned by Yameen on alleged political motives and ordered fresh investigations.
Having his sentences wiped out, Adeeb tried to flee the Maldives illegally in a fishing boat and was detained by Indian coast guard earlier this month in a southern port. He was deported back to the Maldives and was immediately arrested.