Former Maldivian president Yameen, convicted in money laundering case, denied bail

The Supreme Court in the Maldives has refused to grant bail to former president Abdullah Yameen who has been serving a five-year jail term in a money laundering case

Oct 05, 2021
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Former Maldivian president Yameen

The Supreme Court in the Maldives has refused to grant bail to former president Abdullah Yameen who has been serving a five-year jail term in a money laundering case. In 2019, he was convicted by a lower court for laundering $1 million from the sale of an island. Yameen, who is currently kept under house arrest in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, had filed an appeal in the top court, challenging his conviction.

Apart from the jail term, the lower court had also slapped a $5 million fine. He moved to the apex court after the high court upheld the lower court’s decision.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the apex court, however, stayed the $5 million fine imposed on him. The court also rejected his appeal for suspending the execution of his sentence.

Yameen served as the archipelago’s president from 2013 to 2018. His presidency was marred by the allegation of widespread corruption, including the multi-million dollar MMPRC scandal, the crackdown on political opponents and civil rights activists, and others.

Currently, he has also been facing trial in the MMPRC scandal in which his former colleague, vice-president Ahmed Adeeb, was awarded a 20 sentence. Abdullah Zihaat, the head of the MMPRC, was also sentenced to 11 in prison. [Read More]

Despite the conviction, his party, the PPM, accused the present government led by President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih of politicizing and influencing his trial. To support these claims, Yameen’s party had recently leaked audiotapes of some of the trial court judges who had convicted him.
 
Judges in the tapes--whose verification is still pending--appeared admitting the trial was influenced by the Office of President--a claim the president’s office denied.[Read More]. Later, the Judicial Service Commission appointed a commission to investigate the tapes.

Yameen’s supporters had earlier also sought the help of India and Sri Lanka in securing his release but to no avail.
(SAM)