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Maldives court gives former president Yameen five-year prison term for money laundering

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By Reuters
Maldives court gives former president Yameen five-year prison term for money laundering
FILE PHOTO: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen attends a signing meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 7, 2017. Fred Dufour/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo   -   Copyright  POOL(Reuters)

MALE (Reuters) – A criminal court of the Maldives found former president Abdulla Yameen guilty of money laundering on Thursday and sentenced him to five years in prison, the judge said.

Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his tenure, was accused of receiving $1 million of government money through a private company as part of a deal to lease a number of tropical islands for hotel development.

The court also slapped a fine of $5 million on Yameen, who is under arrest, Judge Ali Rasheed said.

A lawyer for Yameen said he would appeal.

(Reporting by Mohamed Junayd; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Alex Richardson)