Ex-President Yameen’s trial to continue with civil standard of proof

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom | Photo: Ahmed Shurau

Malé, Maldives – Presiding Judge Ahmed Shakeel decided on Monday that the trial against former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom will continue based on civil standard of proof.

The former President is on trial for allegedly taking a USD 1 million bribe during the sale of V. Aarah for resort development.

While the lawyers representing both the defendants argued that the case cannot be continued with the civil standard of proof, Yameen’s lawyers stated that there is no supporting evidence to witnesses, former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath. The prosecution maintained that multiple exhibits were submitted that support the witness’s statements.

Yameen’s defence also argued that the Former President did receive a bribe and the transaction was made to purchase dollars.

The prosecution stated that the Maldivian constitution does not allow Presidents and Vice Presidents to conduct business transactions while in office.

The prosecution is charging former President Yameen with money laundering and acceptance of a bribe of USD 1 million from former MP of Felidhoo Constituency Yusuf Naeem. The charges for both parties are as follows.

  • Former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom – Money laundering under Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act, 2014 (Act No. 10 of 2014) and acceptance of a bribe under Chapter 510(a)(d) of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No. 6/2014)
  • Former MP of Felidhoo Constituency Yusuf Naeem – Bribery under Chapter 510(b)(d) of the Maldives Penal Code (Law No. 6/2014)

The Prosecution detailed a timeline of the alleged events, stating that on 15 September 2015 Yusuf Naeem handed over a check of USD 1 million which was deposited to ex President Yameen’s HSBC account on the following day, 16 September 2015.

President Yameen allegedly transferred USD 1,001,409 from the HSBC account to his BML account on 22 February 2016. USD 1,295,000 was then transferred to an MIB account from the BML account almost a year later on 21 February 2017.

A month later on 14 March 2017, USD 3,413,230 was then transferred to a general investment account at the same bank, MIB, for 36 months.

The prosecution is seeking to seize the alleged bribe amount, any additional amounts from ex-President Yameen’s bank accounts and any resulting profit from investments.