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Ex-president Yameen transferred to house arrest

The opposition leader was hospitalised three times since his detention.



Former president Abdulla Yameen was temporarily transferred to house arrest Wednesday night on the advice of doctors.

Yameen and his wife agreed to abide by conditions for house arrest, the Maldives Correctional Service said in a statement, without specifying the conditions.

He was taken to his residence in Malé from the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

The former president was hospitalised three times since the criminal court detained him on February 18 for the duration of a money laundering trial.

He was detained at the special protection unit of the Maafushi prison.

After he was brought to hospital for the second time last week, Yameen was kept for observation at IGMH on the advice of cardiologists. He was released Thursday morning.

But he was brought back to the hospital again later that night after doctors in Maafushi referred him to IGMH, the government-run hospital’s spokesman Mohamed Mufeed told the Maldives Independent.

Yameen was hospitalised in relation to heart problems, he said.

On Monday, opposition MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla claimed doctors have advised Yameen to undergo tests unavailable in the Maldives.

The lawmaker previously complained about the former president not being allowed to exercise as advised by doctors. A treadmill was sent to prison but has not been assembled, he told reporters.

He called for all-party talks and repeated accusations against the government of keeping Yameen behind bars to influence the April 6 parliamentary elections.

The 59-year-old opposition leader is accused of laundering US$1 million transferred to his personal account by a company implicated in the country’s biggest corruption scandal.

The former president denies any wrongdoing. He has also challenged the validity of the money laundering charges.

The High Court is due to rule on an appeal of the criminal court’s order to detain Yameen for the upcoming trial.

The order was granted after prosecutors submitted evidence of an alleged attempt to bribe witnesses to retract their statements.

A secret document to show Yameen’s alleged attempt to block a police investigation into a suspicious transaction flagged by the Financial Intelligence Unit was also submitted.

Yameen denies the bribery allegations.

The appellate court is also due to rule on the legality of a court order to freeze Yameen’s bank accounts with more than MVR100 million (US$6.5 million).