Maldives’ former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of attempting to assassinate President Yameen Abdul Gayoom in a closed-door trial Thursday. Adeeb was also charged of terrorism and sentenced to 10 years four days ago by the same criminal court. He now faces up to 25 years in prison.
In September 2015, a blast on Gayoom’s speedboat left his wife and two bodyguards injured. Gayoom escaped unhurt. Adeeb was arrested a few days later and charged with attempting to assassinate the president.
FBI investigators enlisted to look into the blast reported that there was no evidence of a bomb.
Adeeb’s lawyer Moosa Siraj said that the court had warned him not to criticize the trial. “The criminal court has barred me from calling the trial unfair, but we have concerns and intend to launch an appeal immediately,” he told Al Jazeera.
Two of Adeeb’s bodyguards also have been sentenced to 10 years each in prison.
Reports say that soon after Adeeb’s conviction, a former chief prosecutor, Muhthaz Muhsin, was also sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to arrest the president using a fake warrant. Muhsin was detained in February.
The sentencing of the ex-vice president, once Gayoom’s protégé, adds to the list of high-profile arrests made since Gayoom came to power. Former President Mohamed Nasheed, former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and head of the leading Adhaalath Party, Sheik Imran Abdulla, are all either in exile or in prison on the island country. These cases have been widely criticized for not following due process.