Opposition leader transferred to house arrest

Maldives Correction Service has made the decision to transfer jailed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom to house arrest.

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 president is being held at the VIP unit of Maafushi remand until the end of his money laundering trial.

In a statement released by Correctional Services on Wednesday night, they revealed that the decision to transfer President Yameen under house arrest comes with the recommendation of doctors due to his current medical condition. Several conditions have been set that requires to be followed during the period of house arrest, and all requirements and conditions have been explained and agreed to by President Yameen and his spouse, said Corrections.

President Yameen has been hospitalized thrice since he was taken into state detention. While Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Peoples' National Congress (PNC), both being parties backed by Yameen, have expressed concerns regarding his arrest, the Speaker of the parliamentt Gasim Ibrahim has called for the immediate release of the former president.

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.