Former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom on Thursday was found guilty of money laundering over $1 million deposited in his bank account.
The Maldives Criminal Court Judge Ali Rasheed headed a panel of five judges trying the case told the court that it had been established beyond any reasonable doubt that Yameen had taken money that he knew was embezzled from the state.
“The judges took over 10 days to deliberate on this and this is the unanimous verdict of the five judges,” Justice Ali Rasheed Hussain said.
Rasheed said the testimonies of former Anti-Corruption Commission Vice President Muaviz Rasheed, Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former managing director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation Abdulla Ziyath were enough to establish that the $1 million was stolen money.
Supporters of Yameen gathered on Thursday evening around the court area to protest over the trial and chanted slogans calling for his release.
Yameen led the Maldives as president from 2013 to 2018. During that time, he was accused of corruption, enforcing bans on the media and persecuting political opponents, according to AP. Yameen lost the 2018 Maldives elections to current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In February this year, the Criminal Court had ordered the detention of Yameen in the case. Government prosecutors told the court that the former president attempted to bribe a witness to change or retract a statement.
The police also charged Yameen with alleged false testimony to the Anti-Corruption Commission, and former Legal Affairs Minister Aishath Azima Shukoor of assisting with money laundering.
(With inputs from agency)