Ex-President Yameen seeks allowances from two-years in incarceration

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (c) during a rally held by the opposition PPM-PNC coalition at the Alimas Carnival area, Male' City, on December 3, 2021. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Aiman Ali)

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom is seeking the allowances he has not received during the two-years he was incarcerated regarding a money-laundering conviction – after the conviction was recently squashed by the Supreme Court.

Finance Ministry’s Communications Director Ahmed Lamaan confirmed to Sun that a letter from Yameen’s lawyer have been received by the Ministry, seeking the allowances during the time he was incarcerated.

“One of his lawyers has sent a letter to the Ministry. We are working on it presently, but no answer has been given so far. We will make a decision on the matter and respond to the letter very soon,” he had said.

Yameen was found guilty of money laundering by the Criminal Court on November 28, 2019.  He was sentenced to five years in prison and fined USD 5 million. Yameen promptly appealed the conviction with the High Court, which sided against him and ruled to uphold the original sentence back in January.

He subsequently appealed the conviction with the Supreme Court, which began appeal proceedings in September.

The case was heard at the Supreme Court by a three-member bench, composed of Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir – who headed the bench, and Justice Dr. Azmiralda Zahir and Justice Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim.

The Supreme Court ruled to overturn High Court’s decision to uphold the original sentence.

According to the law, the benefits former presidents are entitled by the state include security, a monthly allowance, and office administrative costs.

With the Supreme Court quashing the conviction, Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has now resumed providing security to him and MVR 4 million has been allotted from the contingency budget to issue the allowances entitled to Yameen.

Yameen is owed an amount of MVR 358,333.33 per month in allowances.