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Court grants millions to former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen as compensation for imprisonment

Former Maldivian president and opposition leader Abdulla Yameen (Photo: Twitter)

Former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen, now the opposition leader, has been given a compensation of MVR 2.4 million for the two years that he spent in prison.

Yameen was acquitted unanimously by a three-justice bench of the Supreme Court on 30 November 2021. He had been sentenced to five years in jail over bribery and corruption charges related to the leasing of Gaafu Alifu Vodamulla.

The Times of Addu reported that the Ministry of Finance has confirmed the issue of MVR 2.4 million to the former president.

After his acquittal by the Supreme Court, Yameen's defence team requested that he should be paid allowances under the Presidents’ Protection and Benefit Act. His lawyers said that the former President had not received the allowance of MVR 100,000 given to former presidents to run offices and sought the amount for 24 months which he spent in prison.

In November 2019, a criminal court had found Yameen guilty of laundering US $1 million over the lease of Gaafu Alifu Vodamulla and had sentenced him to five years imprisonment. The Maldivian High court had in January 2021 upheld the verdict of the criminal court.

However, the case was overturned by the Supreme Court in November 2021 after which he was released from prison.

His release in the corruption cases is being contested by the ruling party. Abdulla Riyaz, a leader of the Maldives National Party (MNP) said that Yameen was freed by the court not because he did not steal but because of technical errors in the trial.

Despite the overturning of the case against him, Yameen is not out of the woods yet. He faces two more cases of a similar nature related to taking bribes and laundering money.

He is currently facing charges over accepting a bribe of $1 million for leasing out Aarah island of Vaavu atoll for the development of a resort while being President. Aarah island was leased to a foreign company for developing it as a resort.

The second case relates to illegalities over the leasing of Fuggiri island in the Raa atoll. The hearings in these cases will come up in January itself.

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