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Detainment an attempt to silence opposition: Yameen

Mariyam Malsa
04 April 2019, MVT 12:10
Former President Abdulla Yameen. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
04 April 2019, MVT 12:10

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, on Tuesday, stated that the purpose of his detainment was to silence him and restrict his movements.

The recently released opposition leader made the statements during a conference call with the audience of a political rally held for Ibrahim Faisal, a candidate representing People's National Congress (PNC) in the upcoming parliamentary election. Faisal, the son of PNC's President Abdul Raheem, is running for the constituency of Hulhumale'.

Yameen claimed that the detainment order issued by the Criminal Court on February 18 was not based on any verified charges and expressed that his time at Maafushi Detention Centre was distressful.

He highlighted that any politicians imprisoned during his tenure were only arrested if they were proven to have committed grave crimes.

Additionally, he publicly apologised for being unable to conduct campaign trips across the country. The High Court overturned Yameen's detention order on March 28.

During the conference call, Yameen also stated that he was still unable to spend on the campaigns of PNC candidates despite possessing the money to do so. He claimed that the Criminal Court's order to freeze his assets was against regulations and asserted that several opposition candidates would have been elected to parliament had the order not been issued.

Guaranteeing that none of his accounts in Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) or Bank of Maldives (BML) contained state funds, Yameen reiterated previous assurances regarding the legitimacy of his assets.

According to the former president, his accounts were frozen in order to bar him from spending on the campaigns of Faisal, his father Abdul Raheem or Ahmed Nihan.

"Is this the way to win an election?", stated Yameen, referring to the current administration.

He urged voters to cast their ballots for opposition candidates if they desired to bring progress and development to Maldives.

More than MVR 100 million within Yameen's accounts were frozen on December 13, 2018, under a Criminal Court order that was set to remain in place until March 12. The High Court overturned the ruling last Thursday.

However, sources of local media outlet Mihaaru reveal that the Criminal Court has issued another freezing order which will remain in effect until mid-June.

The High Court has not reached a decision regarding the matter and it is not yet confirmed whether or not Yameen has appealed the order.

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