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Ex-President Yameen to be detained until end of trial

Nafaahath Ibrahim
18 February 2019, MVT 16:59
Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Nafaahath Ibrahim
18 February 2019, MVT 16:59

Criminal Court on Monday ordered former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to be detained till the end of his trial.

Charges over money laundering were pressed against Yameen for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)'s funds.

During the first hearing for the case, state lawyer Aishath Mohamed claimed that the documents served as evidence that Yameen had attempted to influence witnesses. He had also offered money to change statements given by the witnesses.

Referring to the statement, Chief Judge of Criminal Court Ahmed Hailam ordered Yameen to be kept in a remanded jail until the end of the trail.

Yameen was interrogated over USD 1 million deposited by SOF Pvt Ltd to his Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) account on November 2015.

SOF is known to have close ties with Ahmed Adeeb, who was first Minister of Tourism and later Vice President in Yameen's government.

Despite initially refusing to transfer the funds, the ex-president on March 25, 2018, agreed to deposit it to an escrow account held by Anti Corruption Commission.

Once, it surfaced that the money transferred to the escrow account on June 10, 2018, was from a BML account under Yameen's name. The state concluded an intent to defraud and evidence to money laundering charges.

Police stated that instead of handing over the funds, Yameen had circulated it within his accounts and derived a profit from the transactions instead.

Furthermore, the police have frozen MVR 100 million in Yameen's bank accounts, stating that questionably large sums of money had been deposited in them during the past five years.

Yameen has maintained his innocence and claims that the money he received from SOF were donations made by his people who supported him for political campaigns and, thus, it belonged to him.

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