Former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s bail petitions in his money laundering conviction appeal hearing were dismissed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
On November 28, 2019, Yameen was found guilty of laundering USD 1 million from the sale of GA. Vodamula by the Criminal Court. He swiftly filed an appeal with the High Court, which upheld the original sentence on January 21, 2021.
The country’s top court decided to hear the former president’s appeal against his five-year jail term and USD 5 million fine, which he filed in April, and set the first hearing for September.
Yameen’s lawyers had submitted two motions with the Supreme Court during the first hearing: one for Yameen to be released on bail and another for a stay of execution of the Criminal Court’s sentence against him.
One of the reasons stated for the decision to refuse bail, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling published on Tuesday, was the lack of explicit legislation related to the subject. The court stated that the law only allows suspects pending conviction to be released on bail.
The ruling said that providing bail to those who have been convicted is not referenced in any legislation and is not a right granted to convicts. It added that granting the right to bail to convicts would be an impediment to justice and equality.
Furthermore, the decision delivered by presiding Justice Mahaz Ali said that there is no legal basis for issuing a stay of execution for Yameen’s money laundering conviction.
According to Justice Mahaz, appealing a case does not mean that the sentence loses its authority, nor does it mean that the punishment is delayed, and it has never been done before.
But the Supreme Court agreed to postpone payment of the USD 5 million fine imposed in his money laundering conviction. The three justices on the bench unanimously decided to prohibit state entities from taking any action against Yameen in connection with the fine.
The ruling was issued until the Supreme Court rules on Yameen’s appeal of his money laundering conviction.