Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has requested the High Court to consider transferring him from prison to house arrest, citing deteriorating health conditions. Yameen, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for convictions of bribery and money laundering related to the lease of Aarah in Vaavu Atoll, made the appeal during a hearing at the High Court today.

Yameen expressed his concern for his family’s well-being and said that his present health condition requires hospitalisation, but he does not want to burden his family further. The former president pleaded the judges for leniency, assuring them that he would refrain from political engagements should he be transferred to house arrest.

“I do not wish to discuss politics any further as that chapter has concluded,” Yameen stated, emphasising his desire for a compassionate approach from the judicial authorities. He requested the High Court bench for consideration, asserting that his transfer to home arrest would not be detrimental to the state.

Earlier this week, Yameen formally submitted a petition to the High Court, seeking the deferral of his 11-year prison sentence along with a US$5 million fine. His legal team proposed a postponement of the sentence, while the prosecution contested this stance by citing a precedent set by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s previous ruling underscored the absence of legal provisions for stay orders aimed at delaying convictions for criminal offenses within the Maldivian criminal justice framework.

In light of the absence of explicit procedures for such a stay order, Yameen’s legal team pursued an alternative route, submitting the appeal through a civil stay order application at the High Court. They maintain that despite the lack of specific guidelines, pursuing this course of action remains viable.