- Associated Press - Monday, May 20, 2019

MALE, Maldives (AP) - A Maldives court on Monday set aside the conviction and 15-year prison term given the former vice president on allegations he conspired to assassinate former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The High Court annulled the Criminal Court’s conviction of Ahmed Adeeb and ordered a new investigation.

Adeeb has been serving a combined 33 years in prison after being convicted of corruption and causing an explosion on Yameen’s speedboat in 2015 in an alleged assassination attempt. With the court decision, his prison term was reduced to 18 years.

Adeeb, previously a confidante of Yameen, was arrested after the blast on the boat injured Yameen’s wife.

The U.S. FBI said it found no evidence of explosives on the boat. The allegation against Adeeb was widely seen as politically motivated and his trial as lacking due process.

Yameen jailed nearly all of his potential rivals during his five-year term, which ended last year with his election defeat.

Courts have freed many of the officials he jailed, and those who sought asylum abroad have returned after Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the election and became president.

Ten-year jail terms given Adeeb’s two bodyguards in the same case were also annulled.

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