Former President Abdulla Yameen has expressed concerns over the police’s seizure of bank account statements without a court order in the Fuggiri case.

Yameen and his close associate Ahmed Kariku Riza are facing charges of bribery and money laundering. The charges involve the alleged acceptance of US$1 million in bribes for leasing Fuggiri Island, Raa Atoll, and the laundering of the money.

Yameen and Riza have filed a motion seeking to declare the evidence inadmissible. They have contended that the bank statements were obtained without proper legal authorisation. During the hearing, Yameen underscored that the police should not be authorised to access account statements without a court order. He argued that such a practice would infringe upon individuals’ right to privacy. The former president voiced concern over the potential harm it could cause to innocent parties.

Yameen questioned the police’s motives for investigating his earlier transactions from 2010 and 2011. Former Vice President Mohamed Jameel, who heads the Yameen’s legal team, also contended the acquisition of account statements without a court warrant. He expressed scepticism about the police’s intentions and cautioned against allowing such actions.

Substantiating arguments

Riza’s lawyers also raised privacy concerns. They referred to the violation of individuals’ rights and its potential impact on foreign investor confidence. The lawyers cited previous court rulings that deemed the examination of bank records without a court order impermissible.

In response, the prosecution maintained that the law did not require a court order to obtain bank statements. They stated that established rules had been followed for the past 13 years and denied any malicious intent on the part of the police.

The judge requested further details on the procedures used to obtain the account statements and any subsequent changes.

The hearing was adjourned due to Yameen’s health condition and concerns about the length of the proceedings.