A criminal court in the Maldives on Sunday found the country’s former president Abdullah Yameen guilty of corruption and money laundering related to accepting kickbacks from a private company.
The court said it expected to pronounce the sentence soon. Yameen has denied any wrongdoing. Yameen, who lost power in 2018, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5 million in 2019 for embezzling $1 million in state funds, which the indictment says he obtained by leasing rights to develop the resort.
After his conviction, Yameen was moved to house arrest in 2020, but was released a few months later. Since his release, Yameen, the half-brother of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has returned to active politics campaigning against Indian influence in the Maldives, raising concerns in New Delhi.
Yameen is the declared presidential candidate for the Maldives Progressive Party for the 2023 elections. Located near strategic shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is at the center of the competition between India and China for influence in the region.
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