Maldivian Court Frees $6.5 Million In Ex-Leader’s Accounts

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A Maldivian court Sunday ordered the authorities to lift a freeze on former strongman 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 Yameen had received illicit payments just before he lost his re-election bid in September.

Yameen, who came to power in 2013 and jailed many of his opponents or forced them into exile, 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.

Since Yameen’s shock election defeat, all dissidents have returned to the Indian Ocean archipelago and most have had their convictions overturned.

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