The High Court has addressed concerns regarding the perceived delay in delivering the judgment in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s appeal against his bribery and money laundering conviction, and jail sentence. Yameen, convicted of accepting a US$1.1 million bribe in a resort lease transaction, is currently under house arrest pending the outcome of his appeal. His original sentence, handed down by the Criminal Court, includes an 11-year prison term and a US$5 million fine.

The protracted appeal process, which saw its last hearing on November 21 with the presentation of closing statements, has has come under scrutiny due due to the time elapsed. Yameen’s legal team and supporters have voiced frustration over the High Court’s scheduling delays. However, the court maintains that the timeline of the case is reasonable, considering its complexity and the current caseload.

The High Court Information Officer Ameen Faisal clarified the court’s position, noting the relative recency of the case’s conclusion in late 2023 and the existence of older cases still pending resolution. 

The court’s approach suggests a thorough examination of the appeal points raised by Yameen, which were detailed over 12 hearings and 35 hours of proceedings.

Beyond this appeal, Yameen faces additional charges related to separate instances of bribery and money laundering concerning another resort lease. The ongoing trial for these charges has also experienced delays, with no recent hearings.