PG requests Yameen’s ill gained assets to be confiscated by state

Former President and leader of the opposition Yameen Abdul Gayyoom | Photo: Nishan Ali

Male’, Maldives – The Prosecutor General’s Office has requested at the Criminal Court earlier today to confiscate Fromer President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s allegedly ill gained assets.

At a hearing today at the Criminal Court, state representatives said that additional charges against the former President, regarding a coverup for a USD 1,117,000 bribe taken via a mediator named Krik Riza in leasing of R. Fuhgiri to be developed as a tourist resort.

And that due these charges, state reps requested that under anti corruption laws, money obtained by Yameen, along with personal assets that do not reflect his legal income are to be taken by the state.

The initial hearings of the bribe acceptance charges were mostly Yameen and his defence claiming that the charges are unclear, followed by a request for more information regarding the case. They claimed that PG’s office decided to withhold some documents regarding the case , and attempted to obtain the said documents through court.

The head judge on the case, Ahmed Shakeel stated that with the amount of information currently available, it is possible to continue with the defence. To which the defendants said that they wish to obtain PG’s decision to withhold information in writing, as they wish to appeal it.

After Judge Shakeel explained court procedures involving document issuing, and the charges were reiterated by state representatives , the defence was asked if the charges were clear.

However, Yameen’s lawyers continued to press on their earlier request to obtain PG’s decision to withhold information in writing, as they were set on appealing the verdict. But the judge decided to continue the phase of inquiring whether the charges were understandable.

Yameen, during the same phase, then stated that the witnesses involved were perpetrators in the case, and that their statements cannot be referred. This statement, questioning the credibility of the witnesses by Yameen was cut short by the Judge, who said that this should be mentioned later in the evidence submitting phase.

State representatives detailed movement of USD 1.3 million bribe taken via a mediator named Krik Riza in leasing of R. Fuhgiri ,of which USD 1.1 million was transferred to an account of Sun Construction and Engineering. An account belonging to Sun Investment then transferred the amount to Yameen’s account in Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB). This amount was later transferred to a general investment account owned by Yameen, and was invested by Yameen. This money was requested to be taken back by the state reps.

Refuting these claims, Yameen said that the money transferred to his account from Sun Investment was for a currency exchange from MVR to USD. And that he does not believe that currency exchange is a crime in any way.

The next hearing is scheduled for the end of this month, after the Head Judge Shakeel’s proposed next hearing date- next week was overturned after Yameen requested more preparation time.

The High Court of the Maldives, scheduled yesterday to rule on the Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s appeal of his 5 year jail sentence for the 14th of January.

President Yameen has currently served more than 400 days of his five year money laundering sentence after he was found guilty of crediting one million dollars that was to be received by the state for the lease of Ga. Vodamula, via MMPRC. The verdict was passed by the Criminial Court on 28 November, 2019.