| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Maldives court finds former President Yameen guilty of corruption

Abdulla Yameen, the former president of the Maldives, was found guilty on Sunday of corruption and money laundering charges relating to collecting bribes from a private company by the country’s criminal court.

The court stated that it would probably shortly announce the penalty. Yameen has denied doing anything illegal.

Yameen, who lost power in 2018, was sentenced to five years in jail and fined $5 million in 2019 for embezzling $1 million in state funds, which the prosecution said was acquired through the lease of resort development rights.

After his sentencing, Yameen was shifted to house arrest in 2020 but was freed months later.

Since his release, Yameen, the half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has returned to active politics with a campaign against Indian influence in Maldives, raising concerns in New Delhi.

Yameen is the declared presidential candidate for the Progressive Party of the Maldives for an election due in 2023.S

Situated close to strategic shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, Maldives is a focal point for competition between India and China over influence in the region.