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High Court sustains ex-Pres Yameen's 5-year sentence

Shahudha Mohamed
21 January 2021, MVT 18:57
Former president Yameen's trial at High Court
Shahudha Mohamed
21 January 2021, MVT 18:57

The High Court, on Thursday, sustained the Criminal Court's verdict to sentence former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, convicted of money laundering charges, to five years in prison.

The decision for Yameen's appeal, requesting to review his prison sentence and USD 5 million fine, was supported by two of the three judges on the High Court bench.

Thursday's hearing, which commenced at 1400hrs was aired live on several television channels, marking the first time that a hearing of Yameen's appeal case was broadcasted.

In addition to the prison sentence he is currently serving at Maafushi Prison, Yameen is also currently on trial at the Criminal Court for another count of money laundering and accepting bribes.

Ex-President Yameen was jailed on money laundering charges linked to the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)'s embezzlement scandal which resulted in a potential loss of MVR 4 billion in state revenue.

The state charged former President Yameen over a transaction of USD 1 million to his account in Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) by SOF Pvt Ltd -- a company implicated in the MMPRC embezzlement scandal, considered the largest corruption case recorded in Maldivian history.

While Yameen had agreed to transfer the USD 1 million to a joint escrow account at Bank of Maldives (BML), which was opened with 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.

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