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Maldives opposition slams guilty verdict on former president

Two opposition parties in the Maldives say a trial in which former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom was convicted of money laundering was politically motivated.

Yameen was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty on Thursday. The five-member Criminal Court bench also ordered him to pay a USD 5 million fine.

On Saturday, the opposition coalition of the Progressive Party of Maldives and the People's National Congress said Yameen was given an unjust sentence due to his "economic development success." The two parties have appealed the case to the High Court.

Yameen led the Indian Ocean archipelago nation from 2013 to 2018. During that time, he was accused of corruption, muzzling the media and persecuting political opponents.

He lost last year's election to current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.