High Court upholds conviction of ex-President Yameen

Former President Abdulla Yameen during the sentencing hearing of hsi appeal case in the High Court on January 21, 2020.

The High Court of the Maldives has ruled to uphold the verdict in the conviction of former President Abdulla Yameen for money laundering. 

Yameen was jailed in 2019 for a period of five years after being found guilty of money laundering. A fine of USD 5 million was also imposed on him. 

The High Court of the Maldives, in the appeal case of Yameen, ruled to uphold the verdict in the sentencing hearing in presence of Yameen who is serving his sentence at the Maafushi Prison. The Judges' bench of the High Court consisted of three judges, out of which two moved to uphold the verdict.

The last judge is currently reading his decision on the case. The agreed decision of the two judges to uphold the verdict means that the decision will stand. 

Yameen was jailed in 2019, for embezzling the acquisition costs of G. A. Vodamulla, which was leased through the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). The USD 1 million acquisition cost payment was transferred to Yameen's bank account in two transfers of USD 500,000 a private company named SOF Private Limited, investigations have uncovered.

MMPRC was at the heart of the scandal deemed as the biggest in the nation’s history.

The scandal is believed to have the involvement of Yameen as well as former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of MMPRC Abdulla Ziyath, as well as a number of current and former lawmakers, judges, law enforcement officers, and other top government officials. 

Former VP Adeeb, had also testified in the Criminal Court against Yameen saying that he was acting on the orders of Yameen. Adeeb has since entered into a plea deal with the state whereby he will get a 20-year prison sentence in return for his cooperation in convicting others.  

Opposition party members and supporters of Yameen have vehemently maintained that the trail against Yameen was a politically motivated one and has called for his release.