High Court set to issue ruling in Yameen’s Aarah conviction

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (R) attends a hearing at the High Court on November 21, 2023.

The High Court concluded hearings in the appeal of the convictions against former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and former Felidhoo MP Yoosuf Naeem on Tuesday, announcing that the court will deliver its ruling, next.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and slapped with a USD 5 million fine on December 25, 2022, after he was found guilty of money laundering and bribery charges in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development.

Meanwhile, Yoosuf Naeem was sentenced to three years in prison for bribery.

On Tuesday, the state and the appellants delivered their closing statements.

In its closing statement, the state asked the court to establish there is no grounds to change the lower court’s verdicts in the case.

Meanwhile, Yameen’s top attorney, former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed argued the lower court judge had admitted evidence in violation of laws and Islamic Sharia.

He argued that the state failed to prove any of its charges.

“We find the lower court judge’s standards for probable cause, corroboration of evidence, and admittance of evidence was in violation of Islamic Sharia and laws. This crime wasn’t committed by the appellant. The state failed to submit any evidence otherwise,” he said.

Yameen’s attorneys asked the High Court to overturn the Criminal Court verdict.

Yoosuf Naeem’s attorney asked the court to make a just decision based on the points of appeal and arguments.

The next hearing will be held to issue the ruling. However, the High Court did not say when the hearing would be held.