The Supreme Court has ordered the Criminal Court to temporarily suspend the ongoing trial of former President Abdulla Yameen and his close associate Ahmed ‘Kurik’ Riza on bribery and money laundering charges in the R. Fuggiri case.

The Criminal Court was scheduled to hold a hearing in the case tomorrow, but Yameen appealed against some of the decisions taken on the previous motions in the trial. The apex court today ordered an adjournment of the case until Monday next week.

Yameen cited his lack of preparation, as the lower court was trying to expedite the case. Three or four witnesses are scheduled to testify every day. The former President stated that he does not have sufficient opportunities to consult with his lawyers.

“I am a prisoner. I do not have an adequate opportunity to prepare for the case,” Yameen told the Supreme Court hearing today.

The prosecution argued that expediting the trial would protect the interests of the accused and that there was no right to lose in the trial.

The appeal at the Supreme Court is being heard by a 3-member bench comprising Justice Husnu Al Suood, Justice Aisha Shujoon Mohammed, and Justice Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim. Justice Suood is presiding over the bench.

Yameen, who was the president of the Maldives from 2013 to 2018, faces several legal challenges. The R. Fuggiri case is just one of them. Accusations against him include a range of crimes such as money laundering, embezzlement, and abuse of power.

Yameen denies all the allegations against him.

The temporary suspension of the trial comes as the Maldives is preparing for the Presidential elections scheduled for later this year.