The opposition on Thursday declared that the Criminal Court's conviction of former President Abdulla Yameen was politically motivated and unjust.
The court sentenced the former president to five years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of USD 5 million after finding him guilty of money laundering.
His supporters, who were gathered outside the court and called for his freedom, slammed the government after the ruling was issued, asserting that the verdict was "political".
Former defence minister and Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef stated that it was a sad day for the opposition coalition of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC). Proclaiming that the Criminal Court was "hijacked" and Yameen jailed so that the current administration could not be held accountable, he declared that the opposition will continue its efforts.
Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed echoed the sentiments, and declared that the opposition will defend Yameen and strive to secure his release.
Former housing minister and PPM's deputy leader Dr Mohamed Muizzu also maintained that the verdict was unjust, claiming that there was no evidence to find Yameen guilty.
Prior to the verdict hearing, Yameen addressed his supporters on Wednesday night and stated that he would walk free should the trial be just and fair. However, he urged the opposition to strengthen its efforts even if he were to be convicted.
The former president is currently in Male' Prison where he will be detained until the authorities completed his medical tests to determine where he would serve his sentence, according to Maldives Correctional Service.
Previously convicted presidents and politicians served their jail sentences in Maafushi Prison.