Male, Feb 18 (IANS) The Maldives Criminal Court on Monday ordered authorities to take into custody former President Abdulla Yameen until the end of his trial on money laundering charges, the media reported.
At a criminal court hearing, prosecutors alleged that Yameen who lost presidential election to Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in September 2018 tried to bribe a witness in the prosecution’s case to change testimony, news websites Mihaaru and Avas reported.
The former President is accused of benefiting from one of the biggest corruption scandal in the island nation’s history as $90 million was allegedly laundered from the state tourism board. He was charged with money laundering last week.
Yameen has denied any wrongdoing.
During the hearing, the prosecution asked the court to take Yameen into custody to prevent him from influencing evidence against him. The judge granted the prosecution’s request to detain the former President in a Male jail till the end of the trial, according to Xinhua news agency.
The court has frozen Yameen’s local bank account holding nearly $6.5 million.
According to the police, a private company that laundered the money transferred $1 million to Yameen’s account at the Maldives Islamic Bank.
The former President later refused to return the money despite an order by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, and instead “conducted financial transactions from which he obtained profit”, the police said in a statement earlier this month.
Yameen has denied all the charges, including that funds from the tourism board were deposited into his bank account, and accused the government of trying to influence the parliamentary polls, scheduled for April 6.