State provides security to freed ex-pres

The State has resumed providing security to former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom following the Supreme Court order that freed him from his five-year jail sentence.

Speaking to AVAS, the Acting Leader of the Progressive Congress coalition, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, said security was arranged sometime on Tuesday and that the update was communicated to President Yameen.

'I hope that he receives security entitled to presidents as per the law,' said Abdul Raheem.

As per the Former Presidents Protection and Benefits Act, Maldives National Defense Force must provide security to former presidents. AVAS' attempt to obtain a comment on President Yameen's security from MNDF was unsuccessful.

The same act also states that any former president who served a term in office will receive a monthly allowance of MVR 50,000, while any former president who served two terms in office will receive a monthly allowance of MVR 75,000. In addition, they will also receive allowances to cover their accommodation and administrative expenses. While President Yameen received allowances and security until he was incarcerated on a money laundering conviction in November 2019, he was stripped of the benefits when he was jailed. Article 10 of the Act states that the State must withdraw benefits for former presidents and their spouses if convicted and jailed for a criminal offense committed during his presidency.

However, as the money laundering conviction against Yameen was overturned by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Yameen is now entitled to receive financial benefit from the State. Although no budget was allocated for Yameen's benefits in the upcoming year's budget, the Finance Ministry said the payments would be made as per the law, from the contingency budget.