Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said on Wednesday that he received USD 5 million in political donations, which were accepted on his behalf by former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor and former Fisheries Minister Dr. Mohamed Shainee.
He made the remark at an appeal hearing over his money laundering conviction held at the High Court on Wednesday afternoon.
The Criminal Court sentenced the former president to five years in prison and a fine of USD 5 million (MVR 77 million) for money laundering in December 2019.
He was found guilty of laundering USD 1 million in misappropriated State funds - the acquisition cost for G. A. Vodamula which should have gone into Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Speaking at this Wednesday’s appeal hearing, Yameen said that he received USD 5 million in political donations, which were accepted on his behalf by Adeeb and Shainee. However, he did not say who he received the political donations from, or any other specifics.
Yameen said that the money had been with Adeeb up until the explosion on board the presidential speedboat ‘Finifenmaa’ in September 2015. He said that he asked Adeeb to handover the money after the incident.
However, he did not explicitly state whether Adeeb had handed over the money or not.
Yameen said that Adeeb had been in charge of managing all his political donations at the time, and that it does not include any funds from MMPRC or any other State institution.
He also said that he never asked Adeeb to collect any State funds.
Yameen’s admission of receiving USD 5 million follows allegation against him in the past that he had received sizable donations during his time as president, which some alleged he received from Saudi Arabia.