Maldives High Court frees jailed ex-President Abdulla Yameen

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Jailed former Maldives president Abdulla Yameen was freed Thursday after the High Court overturned his conviction and 11-year prison sentence on graft and money-laundering charges.

A three-judge High Court bench in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation held that Yameen’s 2022 trial had been unfair and ordered a new trial.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“The lower court ruling was not fair,” judge Hassan Shafeeu said while reading out a lengthy decision that was broadcast live.

The decision came ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections, in which Yameen is fielding candidates from a political party he formed while serving his sentence.

Yameen was convicted on two charges after a court found he accepted a bribe to grant a lease on a small islet for tourism development while he was in power between 2013 and 2018.

Thursday’s ruling set that verdict aside. Yameen’s co-accused Yusuf Naeem, a businessman who was said to have paid the alleged bribe of $1 million, was also freed.

Yameen, 64, was held at the high-security Maafushi prison but was transferred to house arrest the day after his ally, Mohamed Muizzu, won presidential elections last September.

The pro-China former leader had borrowed heavily and built thousands of houses and other infrastructure in the small but strategically placed Indian Ocean archipelago during his five-year tenure.

Read more:

India begins withdrawing troops from Maldives

Chinese survey ship in Maldives could trigger security concerns in Indian Ocean​​​​​​​

Top Content Trending