Appeal hearing to begin tomorrow for ex-pres

The High Court will Tuesday begin hearings of the appeal challenging the Criminal Court verdict that jailed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom on money laundering convictions.

The High Court has revealed that the appeal hearings of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's trial will begin on Tuesday, although the hearings will not be broadcasted live on TV.

The Criminal Court sentenced the former president to five years in jail and ordered him to pay US$ five million to the state after being found guilty of money laundering on November 28 last year. The high-profile trial was televised live on local channels.

While the Criminal Court verdict was appealed at the High Court on behalf of President Yameen, the legal team representing President Yameen had requested the High Court to release the former president on bail while the court deliberated on granting the appeal. However, the court had not made a decision on the request.

Former President Yameen was accused of defying the agreement between himself and the Anti-Corruption Commission, which stipulated the former president to move funds in his Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) account that are suspected of having been laundered, into an escrow account set up between the two parties.

Failing to do so, and moving the funds in question into an investment account, the former president deposited funds from another source into the escrow account. While the Criminal Court found Yameen guilty of the charges, he currently remains in jail.