Maldives ex-president held for money-laundering trial


A court docket within the Maldives has ordered the nation’s former President Abdulla Yameen be held in state custody till the top of a trial on cash laundering prices, in response to native media.

At a prison court docket listening to on Monday, prosecutors alleged the previous president, who misplaced an election in September, tried to bribe a witness within the prosecution’s case to vary their testimony, reported the information web sites Mihaaru and Avas.

Aljazeera reported Yameen was taken to a remand centre on Maafushi, an island close to the Maldives’ capital, Male, a police spokesperson mentioned.

The 59-year-old was charged with cash laundering final week over claims he obtained $1m, stolen from state coffers within the nation’s biggest-ever corruption scandal.

Police say a personal firm that laundered greater than $79m in tourism revenues deposited the cash to Yameen’s non-public account on the Maldives Islamic Financial institution.

The case was the topic of an Al Jazeera investigation in 2016.

The previous president refused to return the cash regardless of an order by the nation’s anti-corruption watchdog, and as an alternative “performed monetary transactions from which he obtained revenue”, the police mentioned in a press release earlier this month.

Legal professionals for Yameen beforehand dismissed the fees as an try to affect the Maldives’s upcoming parliamentary elections, set to happen on April 6.

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The Anti-Corruption Fee “has to this point did not show the $1m transferred to Yameen’s account by SOF Pvt Ltd was state funds obtained by way of corruption”, the attorneys contended in a press release earlier this month.

Yameen instructed reporters in January that the a million {dollars} deposited to his non-public account got to him by “varied events as marketing campaign funds”. The cash was his, he added, saying he didn’t return the quantity as a result of there was no proof it was authorities cash.

Police have additionally sought prices of false testimony towards Yameen and his prime authorized counsel.

The previous president can be underneath investigation in a separate money-laundering case, by which he’s alleged to have obtained 22 million rufiyaas ($1.5m) in money days earlier than the presidential election in September 2018.

In December, the police mentioned authorities froze Yameen’s financial institution accounts and seized greater than 100 million rufiyaas ($6m) in US {dollars} and native forex.



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