Gayoom, judges were plotting coup: Yameen

Opposition rejects his accusations

February 12, 2018 09:31 pm | Updated February 13, 2018 05:03 pm IST - Colombo

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen

The two arrested Supreme Court justices and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had been plotting to overthrow the government of the Maldives, officials said, announcing that they had found more than $2,00,000 in suspicious money in searches since a state of emergency was declared last week.

Lawyers and Opposition leaders quickly rejected the accusations, saying President Abdulla Yameen was using the emergency to weaken his political opponents.

“A proper investigation would not hide under cover of the state of emergency, or shy away from the clear light of rule of law” Maumoon Hameed, lawyer for Mr. Gayoom, wrote on Twitter.

A Sunday statement from the President’s office said Mr. Gayoom had bribed officials and judges and encouraged riots. It also said he and the two arrested justices were “attempting to overthrow the government”.

‘Cash found’

During the searches, “large amounts of cash have been discovered... hidden under a mattress” in the home of a court official, according to a Sunday police statement.

Authorities also found a bag with $2,15,000 in U.S. currency and about $10,000 worth of Maldivian currency belonging to one of the arrested justices, the statement said. A total of eight people have been arrested, officials said.

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