Corrections yet to finish probe into Yameen for confinement rules breach

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is transferred to home confinement on October 1, 2023. (Sun Photo/Alim Abdul Latheef)

Maldives Correctional Service said on Tuesday that they have yet to finish its investigation into former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, after he visited the office of People’s National Front (PNF) and engaged in political discussions this week, despite being prohibited from active involvement in politics.

Yameen 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 Maafushi Prison to his home in Male’ City on October 1st, the day after President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu – the candidate championed by the coalition between Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) - won the presidential election.

While Corrections later eased the terms of his home confinement, to allow him to leave the house for exercise and other such purposes, the law prohibits convicts from active involvement in political activities.

But he held several gatherings at the office of his former party, PPM, in late October, prompting Corrections to threaten cancel the agreement with him, if he continues to violate the terms of the agreement.

But he continued to engage in politics.

Last week, Yameen left PPM – a party he led for years – after the conflict within the PPM-PNC coalition boiled over, just short of a week into President Muizzu’s administration.

He announced plans to form a new party – PNF.

The former Maldivian leader was photographed at the PNF office on Sunday, as the party collected membership forms.

When asked about this, a spokesperson from Corrections said they were investigating the incident, and would take appropriate action, if found necessary.

On Tuesday, Corrections said they have yet to finish their investigation.

Maldives Prisons and Parole Act bans convicts from involvement in political activities.

Yameen’s active engagement in political activities has resulted in criticism against Corrections, with many questioning whether the former Maldivian leader is above the law.