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Six arrested from opposition protest during Yameen hearing

07 January 2021, MVT 18:39
Police officers work to control an opposition protest held in 2020, calling for the release of arrested former president, Abdulla Yameen. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
07 January 2021, MVT 18:39

Police arrested six individuals from the opposition coalition protest held outside the Criminal Court on Thursday.

Members and supporters of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) gathered outside the court, during the hearing held on charges of money laundering and bribery levied against convicted former president, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Three council members of PPM were among those arrested.

The opposition coalition declared that it was a peaceful protest against the charges laid on Yameen. Several police officers were on the scene for the duration.

Thursday's hearing concerned the leasing of Fuhgiri, Raa Atoll. Prosecutors charged the former president with accepting bribes and money laundering, in connection with the lease transaction.

Yameen was implicated in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) scandal, the largest corruption case recorded in Maldives' history, the MMPRC scandal involved the embezzlement of MVR 4 billion in state funds, which were acquired through leasing islands and lagoons for tourism development and siphoned by private company, SOF Pvt Ltd.

He is currently serving five years in jail, along with a fine amounting to USD 5 million, after he was found guilty on another count of money laundering in the MMPRC graft.