Supreme Court has decided to deny bail to former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom – who has appealed his five-year prison term for money laundering with the court.
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 five 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 back in January.
He subsequently appealed the conviction with the Supreme Court, which began appeal proceedings in September.
Yameen’s lawyers, in addition to presenting a motion for bail, had also presented a motion for a stay of the execution of his sentence, and a motion for a stay of the payment of his fine.
Supreme Court made its decision regarding the motions on Tuesday morning.
The court denied bail, and though it refused to issue a stay of execution of his full sentence, did issue a stay of payment of his USD 5 million fine until the court reaches its decision.
DENIAL OF BAIL
The opinion with regard to the request for bail was issued by Justice Mahaz Ali. Both Justice Dr. Azmiralda Zahir and Justice Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim concurred.
One of the reasons cited for the decision to deny bail was the lack of specific laws pertaining to the matter. Justice Mahaz said the law currently grants the right to bail only to suspects in detention.
He said that granting convicts the right to bail will hinder equality in meting out justice, when cases are treated differently.
STAY OF FINE PAYMENT GRANTED, STAY OF EXECUTION DENIED
All three justices concurred that there was no grounds to grant a stay of execution. However, the court granted Yameen’s motion for a stay of fine, ordering state institutions against taking any action in relation to his USD 5 million fine.
The decision comes with the Civil Court set to begin hearings on Wednesday, in the case lodged against Yameen for his failure to pay the fine.
HEARINGS CONCLUDED, RULING TO BE ISSUED BEFORE RECESS
Concluding Tuesday’s hearing, Justice Mahaz said the bench will issue its ruling before the court goes into recess in 56 days’ time.