Yameen’s trial over, date of verdict to be announced!

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen. | Photo: PPM

Malé, Maldives – Criminal Court of Maldives has concluded the trial former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom for money laundering and bribery in connection to V. Aarah.

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 former president had denied all charges during an earlier hearing.

The Criminal Court today held a summary hearing in the case. After the summary statements of both the parties, Judge Ahmed Shakeel said the hearings of the case were over and the verdict would be handed down as per the Rules of Criminal Procedure. However, no date for the verdict has been announced.

Judge Shakeel said the case was filed on November 24, 2021 and the hearing continued for about 60 hours.

The prosecutor’s office had alleged that Yameen and Yusuf Naeem had laundered USD 1 million in bribes using the then President’s position in the lease transaction to develop a tourist resort through the Ministry of Tourism and the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

The Prosecution had previously told that on September 15, 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 February 22, 2016. USD 1,295,000 was then transferred to an MIB account from the BML account almost a year later on February 21, 2017.

A month later on March 14, 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.

If convicted, Yameen will lose his chance to contest next year’s presidential election. Yameen is the opposition PPM’s presidential candidate.