Former Maldivian President and opposition leader, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has successfully appealed against a USD 3.4 million fine imposed on him by the Criminal Court. The fine was a part of his sentence for his conviction on money laundering and bribery charges in relation to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022.
Yameen was also sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined USD 5 million, which included the USD 3.4 million fine for money laundering and a USD 1.6 million fine for bribery. Criminal Court had ordered him to pay USD 3.4 million within six months of the ruling.
The High Court, however, overturned Criminal Court’s order on Tuesday, citing the prosecution’s failure to provide a reasonable response to the appeal argument. The three-judge panel unanimously decided to overturn the lower court’s decision. The judges were chaired by Judge Mohamed Faisal, with Judge Hassan Shafeeu and Judge Dheebanaz Fahumy accompanying him on the bench.
Yameen’s lawyers had argued that the law did not recognize orders or judgments issued after the initial judgment in a case in order to complete or alter the judgement in question. The High Court’s ruling is a significant legal victory for the former president and opposition leader, who has been a prominent figure.