Updated April 18th, 2024 at 21:37 IST

Maldives High Court Overturns Ex-Prez Yameen's Graft Conviction, Orders New Trial

Yameen was convicted of graft in 2022 for allegedly accepting kickbacks from a private company to grant a lease on a small islet.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Ex-Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has been freed from jail. | Image:AP

Male: A high court in Maldives, on Thursday, freed jailed ex-President Abdulla Yameen and overturned his conviction and 11-year jail sentence over money laundering and graft charges. While overturning the 2022 conviction, judge Hassan Shafeeu said “The lower court ruling was not fair." 

Yameen was convicted in 2022 on charges that stem from his alleged acceptance of a bribe during his 2013-2018 tenure. Specifically, he stands accused of accepting a bribe from a private company to grant a lease on a small islet for tourism-related development. 


Yameen, who had recently been transferred to house arrest, was freed on Thursday alongside businessman Yusuf Naeem who is accused of giving said bribe. The high court has now ordered a new trial.

The decision for Yameen's release comes just ahead of the parliamentary polls in Maldives which are set to start this weekend. Yameen's Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) was one of the major proponents of the ‘India Out’ campaign that was pushed by opposition parties ahead of the polls that saw the ascension of current President Mohamed Muizzu. 


It may also be noted that Yameen's term was characterised by a notable shift of the island nation away from its traditional ally, India, towards China.  


Published April 18th, 2024 at 21:37 IST