'Propositions were offered to ex-pres to travel abroad'

Jailed former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has declined the government's proposal to send him abroad to seek medical treatment.

According to a reliable close to President Yameen and a senior member of main opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the government offered two propositions to President Yameen on Monday during Home Minister Imran Abdulla's visit to the Maafushi Prison.

The government proposed that President Yameen pay the fine of US$ 5 million as ordered by the Criminal Court in his money laundering verdict, and to allow Yameen to travel abroad to seek medical treatment conditioning him to return within a specified amount of time, said the source.

However, the outspoken former president had declined the offer, and brought issues with his trial to the attention of the government. He further refused to accept the government's proposal on their terms.

It has been reported that the government even previously offered proposals to the jailed president to transfer him under house arrest. Even then, the president had rejected the offer and insisted that he wished to go home as a free man.

Earlier on Tuesday, Minister Imran had announced via popular social media platform Twitter that he had met with President Yameen on an inspection visit to the jail the previous day. He had revealed that concerns regarding the former president's medical condition as well as his case were discussed during the meeting. He further revealed that recommendations made by Yameen's doctors regarding his treatment had been shared with the family. However, he made no mention of any propositions offered to President Yameen, and no comments have been made on the reports by the government.

Last week, President Yameen was hospitalized at state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) to undergo medical tests. He was released three days later.

President Yameen spoke of his current medical condition during his appeal hearings held recently.

Speaking at the hearing challenging the Criminal Court's money-laundering verdict against him, the former president said he developed mental and cardiac issues within the first month he was imprisoned for investigation.

After he was released, he consulted at state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH)'s the cardiac centre, and the most senior doctor at the centre had advised him to seek medical care abroad, said Yameen. Neither the tests nor the treatment for his specific condition can be obtained in the Maldives, he added.

President Yameen further revealed that he suffers from a spinal disc herniation and requires surgery to correct the issue. He then expressed his wish to undergo surgery abroad.

The former president said he sought medical consultation periodically during the nine months of his money laundering trial after he was released from state custody. However, he is now unable to seek consultation, said Yameen, adding that he did not travel abroad during his trial as people may perceive that he was fleeing.

He appealed to the High Court to delay the serving of his sentence, and release him on bail so that he may seek the required treatment for his medical conditions. The request has since been denied by the High Court.

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.

Finding him guilty of the charges levied against him, 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, and the appeal trial is currently ongoing.