June 27, 2015
Male’: The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) today accused Cherie Blair’s law firm, Omnia Strategies, of lying over its role advising the authoritarian regime of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen.
Shortly after clinching the contract earlier this month to advise Yameen– a deal thought to be worth millions of dollars to Cherie Blair’s firm – Omnia Strategies said their work was limited to “legislative and constitution reform to which the Government is committed.”
“Our objective is to assist the Government in strengthening democracy, rule of law and restoring investor confidence,” Omnia said. They further stated that they would not get involved in domestic politics.
But today, Omnia lawyer Toby Cadman appeared at a press conference in Male’ alongside Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon, where he revealed Omnia’s actual work involved responding to the claim submitted by President Nasheed to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
In the press conference, Cadman made a robust defense of Nasheed’s jailing, and even suggested that his 13-year sentence should have been a life sentence
In a shameless and brazen departure from the truth Cadman also stated that during Nasheed’s trial, the former president’s right to legal counsel was guaranteed. President Nasheed was repeatedly denied the right to legal council during his trial, and often appeared in the dock without his lawyers.
Commenting on Omnia Strategies, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Gafoor said:
“Omnia Strategies is the very worst kind of mercenary outfit. They are taking possibly millions of dollars in exchange for helping a dictatorship keep a democracy hero in jail.
“Blair and Cadman should be utterly ashamed of themselves. They are no friends of the Maldives.”