• Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:56 pm

Maldives court grants bail to ex-leader Gayoom

  • Published at 06:05 pm October 1st, 2018
Former President Of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (C) disembarks from a boat coming from the custodial island of Dhoonidhoo to attend a hearing at the High Court of Maldives in Male on Sunday, September 30, 2018 Reuters

The High Court granted Gayoom bail of 60,000 Maldivian rufiyaa after a secret hearing

The Maldives High Court granted former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom bail on Sunday, making him the latest jailed opponent of President Abdulla Yameen to win freedom since Yameen lost a re-election bid a week ago.

The High Court granted Gayoom bail of 60,000 Maldivian rufiyaa after a secret hearing. Gayoom, who ruled Maldives from 1978-2008, is awaiting trial on charges of trying to bribe officials to topple his the government of Yameen, his own estranged half brother. He was separately sentenced in June to 19 months imprisonment on obstruction of justice charges for refusing to hand over his mobile phone during the investigation.

In the run-up to last week's election, Yameen's government imprisoned a raft of his critics including two former presidents, two Supreme Court judges, two vice presidents, two defence ministers, a number of opposition leaders, lawmakers, and a former chief prosecutor.

Yameen lost his re-election bid to opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih by more than 16% points. Although Yameen is due to remain in office until November 17 before Solih assumes the presidency, a number of Yameen's opponents have already been freed.

On Sunday, the High Court also granted bail to two legislators, Gayoom's son Faris Maumoon and tourism tycoon Gasim Ibrahim, who leads a political party.

The country of 400,000 people is popular with tourists but has seen political unrest since its first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Nasheed, was forced to quit amid a police mutiny in 2012.