Malé, Maldives – Criminal Court of Maldives has sentenced former President Abdullah Yameen for money laundering and bribery in connection to V. Aarah to 11 years.
Prosecution charged 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 the trial.
Yameen was sentenced to four years in prison for accepting a bribe. He was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to seven years in prison and fined USD 5 million to be paid within six months. Therefore, Yameen will serve a total of 11 years in jail.
Yousuf Naeem was also sentenced to three years in jail after being convicted of bribery.
Yameen’s lawyers raised objections to the punishment. They also objected to talking about the punishment, noting that they had little opportunity to talk about it.
When the lawyer sat down without speaking about the punishment, Criminal Court Chief Justice Ahmed Shakeel said he did not think Yameen had anything to say about the punishment.
Yusuf Naeem’s lawyers also raised objections to the punishment. After taking the objections, his lawyers asked for the least possible punishment. They asked for a reduction in the basic sentence, most of it to house arrest and a fine.
The prosecution sought a total of 19 years in prison for Yameen and eight years for Yusuf Naeem.
The charges have now closed Yameen’s chances of contesting next year’s presidential election. The opposition said it would appeal the verdict in the High Court.