Jailed former president of the Maldives and leader of the opposition, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has appealed to the people of the Maldives to defeat the administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in upcoming elections.
The former president made the appeal through the acting leader of the opposition coalition, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, who visited Yameen at the Maafushi Prison on Thursday. President Yameen’s message was conveyed to the public by Abdul Raheem in a virtual gathering held at N. Velidhoo and Male’ PPM Office.
Speaking at the ceremony, Abdul Raheem acknowledged that the current administration allowed visitors for the former president from time to time despite injustices carried out against President Yameen. Abduul Raheem thanked President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for granting the opportunity to meet with President Yameen.
Sharing President Yameen’s message, Abdul Raheem said the president asked of the people to defeat the current administration via votes, and said that the upcoming local council election is a good opportunity for the country’s citizens to show the lack of support for the current administration. The president implored the people to make use of the opportunity, said Abdul Raheem.
Abdul Raheem pointed out that while President Yameen has now spent 410 days in jail, this is the first time in the Maldives’ history that an innocent person has been held in jail by the government for such a long duration. As such, this should be made known to the world, said Abdul Raheem.
Abdul Raheem also shed light on the cancellation of the hearing scheduled to deliver a verdict in President Yameen’s money laundry appeal case. While the hearing was scheduled for January 14th, it was suddenly postponed as the government is unsure of the verdict that would be delivered by the High Court, said Abdul Raheem. He went on to claim that both the president and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed influences the judicial sector.
Adding that some leaders of the current administration believe President Yameen would ‘make a deal’ with the government if he is freed, Abdul Raheem said President Yameen would not do anything that would harm the country and its people even if he had to spend his lifetime in jail.
Former President Yameen is currently serving a five-year sentence after being found guilty of money laundering in relation to the MMPRC corruption case. He 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 case has since been appealed at the High Court, and the trial has reached its end, with only the delivery of a verdict remaining. The delivery of verdict has now been rescheduled to January 21st.