Ex-pres requests bail, stay order on lower court sentence

Former president of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has requested the Supreme Court to release him on bail.

The Criminal Court found the former president guilty of money laundering in November 2019, and sentenced him to five years in jail, which he is currently serving under house arrest. The court also ordered him to pay a fine of USD 5 million. The High Court this January maintained the Criminal Court's verdict, following which Yameen's legal team appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court. The first appellate hearing at the top court was held Sunday.

Yameen's legal team requested the court to release him on bail, and also requested for a stay order on serving the Criminal Court sentence. Speaking regarding the two motions filed by the defense, lead counsel of the legal team, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said they received papers from the State late Saturday, and therefore required a two-day period to prepare a response. Dr. Jameel said he wished to speak at length on the matter. The judge granted his request and allowed a two-day duration to review and prepare a response.

During Sunday's hearing, Yameen's legal team presented 22 points of appeal, which mainly included issues with the Criminal Court's verdict.