The Criminal Court has sentenced former President Abdulla Yameen to 11 years in prison and fined him USD five million after finding him guilty of corruption and money laundering charges over the leasing of Aarah island in Vaavu atoll to a foreign party for resort development.
The verdict hearing of the case was held at the Criminal Court on Sunday.
During the hearing, presiding Judge, Ahmed Shakeel noted that no justification was given on why, such a huge sum of money was deposited to the private account of Yameen, while he was in such a position of power. He stated that evidence shows that the money deposited to Yameen's private bank account is money laundered during the leasing of Aarah island.
Hence Criminal Court sentenced Yameen to seven years in prison and fined him USD five million, for finding him guilty of money laundering. Yameen was sentenced to four years in prison for finding him guilty of receiving bribe, and for acts of corruption.
Abdulla Yameen lost power in 2018 but has been declared presidential candidate for the Progressive Party of the Maldives for an election due in 2023.
Earlier in 2019, he was sentenced to five years in jail and fined USD five5 million for embezzling USD one million in state funds, which the prosecution said was acquired through the lease of resort development rights.
After his sentencing, Yameen was shifted to house arrest in 2020 and was freed months later, citing a fault in an evidence document . After his release, Yameen returned to active politics once again.
With the Criminal Court sentencing Yameen to 11 years in prison, his supports even took to the streets of capital Male' City to protest against the court verdict.
Maldives Correctional Service has disclosed that the former President has now been transferred to the Maafushi Prison.