Yameen’s lawyers request bail, stay of execution

Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom waves as supporters gathered outside his residence on August 2, 2021. (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Ifaz)

Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s lawyers have requested the Supreme Court for a stay of execution of his five-year sentence for money laundering, and for the opposition leader to be released on bail. 

Yameen was found guilty of laundering USD 1 million from the sale of GA. Vodamula  by the Criminal Court on November 28, 2019.  He was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined USD 5 million. Yameen promptly appealed the conviction with the High Court, which sided against him and ruled to uphold the original sentence on January 21, 2021. 

He subsequently appealed the conviction with the Supreme Court, which began appeal proceedings this Sunday morning.

Opening the hearing, Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir said that Yameen’s lawyers have filed two motions with the court; a motion for Yameen to be released on bail and a motion for a stay of execution of the sentence issued against him by the Criminal Court. 

Yameen’s lead lawyer, former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said said that they received papers from the State on Saturday, and requested minimum two days to review the papers and prepare their case. 

The court granted two days to respond to the motions as requested. 

While the court agreed to postpone a decision on the motions, it heard points of appeal by Yameen’s lawyers. 

The case is being heard by a three-member bench, composed of Justice Mahaz – who heads the bench, and Justice Dr. Azmiralda Zahir and Justice Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim. 

Yameen was serving his sentence in Maafushi Prison, but was transferred to home confinement following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the  prison in April.