High Court scheduled to commence the appeal of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's money laundering case on January 28.
Criminal Court found the former president guilty of money laundering last November and sentenced him to five years in prison, along with a USD 5 million (MVR 77 million) fine.
Yameen's submission for an appeal was accepted by the High Court earlier. However, the appellate court is yet to make a decision regarding his request for bail until the end of the appeal, despite concerns raised by the former president and opposition coalition over the delay.
According to High Court regulations, the court holds the authority to grant bail to defendants during the appeal process. However, as per the current Criminal Procedure Code, some legal advocates argue that the High Court can no longer take such actions.
The former president was charged with money laundering over a transaction that involved a deposit of USD 1 million by SOF Pvt Ltd, to Yameen's personal account at Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB). SOF is implicated in the mega corruption scandal of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Although Yameen initially agreed to transfer the USD 1 million to a joint escrow account at Bank of Maldives (BML) with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), it later surfaced that the money Yameen transferred to the account was not the USD 1 million he received from SOF. The funds from SOF were instead deposited in a general investment account at MIB.