Hearings in connection to the two requests made by former President Abdulla Yameen as part of his appeal process have concluded at the High Court on Tuesday, with the state against granting Yameen bail.
While the first hearing in the former's appeal case began on Tuesday, the court is set to reach a decision on Yameen's bail during the appeal process, in the next hearing.
The former president’s legal team made requests at the High Court to issue an order delaying his five-year prison sentence and to make bail arrangements for him, at a time an appeal had been made at the High Court on the five-year prison sentence slapped on him during November.
The hearing on Tuesday revolved around Yameen’s requests made in connection to the case. Both Yameen’s legal team and the Prosecutor General’s Office representatives were given chances to speak at the hearing.
During the hearing, the former president’s legal representative asserted that the former must be granted bail under rights guaranteed to him under the constitution, highlighting that these rights are ensured for convicts in other countries as well.
As such, the defense’s lawyer, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed reiterated the legal team’s request to release the former president on bail or delay his sentence implementation.
In response, state attorneys asserted that the ex-president was found guilty of money laundering and as such, the state does not believe that he should be released under bail, in any circumstances, as there are no laws that state that such requests may be approved.
However, the defense’s attorneys urged the court to issue an order, granting his release on bail as it has been just about 60 days since he has been doing time for his sentence and that most of it still remains.
In response, state attorneys revealed that there are certain laws through which convicts are released on bail, in other countries as well as Maldives. As such, convicts suspected of crimes may be released on bail, however, bail arrangements will not be approved for those sentenced for crimes. State attorneys went on to assert that there were no issues with the ex-president’s sentencing, and that the Criminal Court issued the sentence under the set mandate.
The presiding judge over Yameen’s money-laundering trial is Judge Hussain Mazeed. The other two judges presiding over the case are Judge Hussain Shaheed and Judge Mohamed Niyaz.
The former president was convicted on money-laundering charges on 28 November for misappropriating US dollars through the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) via a private company Scores of Flair, during his presidency.
He was slapped with a five-year prison sentence and fined USD five million to be paid within in six months.