Former President Yameen sentenced for 5 years, fined USD 5m

Photo: Sun

Former President Abdulla Yameen was found guilty of participating in money laundering, and sentenced for 5 years in prison with a fine of USD 5 million that has to be paid within six months,

A five judge Criminal Court bench today unanimously sentenced the former President for his ill-doings referring to the state’s evidences as well as witnesses’ testimonies.

Yameen’s lawyers requested to postpone sentencing and ignore the fines. However, high judge Ali Rasheed denied both requests,  saying requests aren’t within the capacity of the law.

Yameen was accused of knowingly depositing MMPRC money to his personal account and he used it to gain personal profits. Witnesses summoned by the state said the former President most definitely will know the money that went into his account was the requisition fee of Vodamulla island, which was leased in his administration by MMPRC.

President Yameen denied these accusations and said he had never heard about the said island prior to the hearing. And he thought the money was actually campaign aid which he usually receives from both local and foreign donors for his political activities.

Delivering today’s sentence, Judge Ali Rasheed mentioned that any amount of money that President Yameen was supposed to receive should be used for party’s activities, thus it should have gone to the party’s account. However, the said USD 1 million went straight to Yameen’s account and he used it for his personal gains for 36 months. Court found that President Yameen used state’s money for his personal benefit and the defense could not provide any justified evidence which suggests otherwise.

Yameen’s supporters were left devastated and enraged, suspects the sentence was politically motivated.

After delivering the sentence, court said President Yameen has the right to appeal, if he wishes.