Maldives court lifts freeze on Yameen’s bank accounts

A Maldivian court on Sunday ordered the authorities to lift a freeze on former President Abdulla Yameen’s bank accounts holding about $6.5 million but said a money laundering case against him would proceed.

The High Court overturned the Criminal Court’s earlier decision to freeze the eight accounts over allegations that Mr. Yameen had received illicit payments just before he lost his re-election bid in September.

Mr. Yameen was arrested last month on a charge of trying to bribe witnesses in his money laundering trial, but was released from custody on Thursday. The move came ahead of April 6 parliamentary elections contested by his Progressive Party of Maldives. Authorities believe millions of dollars allegedly siphoned off by Mr. Yameen could be stashed abroad, and have said that talks are under way with foreign entities to repatriate any cash found.

Mr. Yameen’s chief lawyer and former Justice Minister Azima Shakoor is also facing charges of embezzlement and helping her boss to launder money.


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