Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who is serving a prison sentence for on corruption charges, has been transferred to home confinement.
Yameen, the leader of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery charges in connection to the sale of V. Aarah on December 26, 2022.
He was transferred from his cell in Maafushi Prison to his home in Male’ City at around 03:30 pm Sunday.
Maldives Correctional Service said Yameen was being transferred to home confinement “temporarily.”
A spokesperson for the service said the former president remains an inmate, and will be treated as such.
Yameen’s supporters had begun gathering outside his home, which is also close to his party’s “Dhiveheenge Raajje” center near the Alimas Carnival in Male’, as soon as the news of his impending transfer broke out.
Among those gathered were his wife, Fathimath Ibrahim.
The move came within hours after the Maldivian President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu – who beat President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the presidential election runoff on Saturday – asked the caretaker president to use his executive powers to transfer the leader of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition to home confinement.
He made the appeal in a press conference on late Saturday night – his first as the president-elect.
Speaking at the press conference, Muizzu appealed to President Solih to use his executive powers to have former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom transferred from prison to home confinement.
He said the move was in the “best interests of the country.”
Preliminary results of the election runoff show Muizzu won 54 percent of the votes, while President Solih won 46 percent.
Yameen had attempted to contest the presidential election on behalf of the PPM-PNC despite his imprisonment, but was disqualified due to the conviction – which is currently under appeal at the High Court.
Muizzu, along with other leaders of the PPM-PNC, has accused President Solih’s administration of influencing the court case against Yameen.
He had promised to remove the alleged government influence once elected to office, and ensure Yameen is treated fairly.