Maldives' top court annuls prison term for ex-president

·1 min read
FILE-Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, center, surrounded by his body guards arrives to address his supporters in Male, Maldives,Feb. 3, 2018. The highest court in the Maldives on Tuesday overturned the prison sentence of the country’s former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who had been convicted of money laundering. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sharuhaan, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

MALE, Maldives (AP) — The highest court in the Maldives on Tuesday overturned the prison sentence of the country’s former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who had been convicted of money laundering.

A three-member Supreme Court bench unanimously annulled the five-year jail term and $5 million fine slapped on Yameen two years ago by a lower court.

The former leader had recently been moved to house arrest.

The judges said the evidence given at the initial trial had discrepancies and did not conclusively prove that Yameen had laundered $1 million in state money for personal gain.

Yameen ruled the Maldives, an Indian ocean archipelago state known as an expensive tourist destination, from 2013 to 2018, before losing a re-election bid to current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

He was accused of corruption and stifling dissent and the media during his time in office.

There are other corruption cases pending against him in court.

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