High Court concludes ex-pres' appeal hearing

High Court on Tuesday concluded hearings of the appeal case filed by former president Yameen Abdul Gayyoom over his recent arrest.

Tuesday's hearing was the first and final hearing of the case. Appeal hearings are usually concluded in one session.

All appeal hearings involving court orders are held behind closed doors by the Criminal Court. Therefore, the former president's case was also closed to the public and media, although the initial ruling to jail President Yameen was issued during an open-court hearing.

The Court revealed that the delivery of verdict would be next, although a date is yet to be set for the verdict hearing.

Criminal Court recently began the trial of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom who is facing charges of money laundering linked to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the island nation.

The prosecution asked the court to take Yameen into custody to deny him the chance to influence the evidence against him, which was granted by the court. The former resident is now being held in Maafushi remand jail until the end of his trial.

The much awaited report into the Maldives Media and PR Corporation (MMPRC) scandal, had revealed that over USD79 million had been embezzled through the state tourism promotion company.

The funds received by MMPRC were distributed through a private company called SOF Private Limited with strong links to the now jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.

Shortly after the scandal was uncovered, USD1 million was deposited by SOF to Yameen's personal account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB).

Yameen has continued to insist that the funds in his account were for his failed presidential campaign last year.

President Yameen further said that he had reached an agreement with the country's graft watchdog on how to transfer the funds, and the funds were deposited accordingly in June last year.