Male’, Maldives – Former Managing Director of Maldives Media and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdullah Ziyath has entered a plea bargain with the state in which he has agreed to plead guilty for a total of 32 counts, also agreeing to cooperate in a joint investigation.
In the appeal hearing held today at the Supreme Court of Maldives regarding the case of Lh. Maabin Huraa, in which Ziyath has been ordered to be jailed for eight years, the presiding Judge, Dr. Mohamed Ibrahimsaid that Ziyath has sent a letter to the court stating that he wishes to take back his appeal request.
When asked from Ziyath whether he sent any such letter, Ziyath confirmed that he did. He explained that it was his intention and did so without any external pressure or coercing and that this was done under the plea bargain agreement he entered with the state. The Judge then asked him whether he realizes the consequences of such a bargain, to which he agreed of his knowledge.
The state also confirmed that Ziyath has entered a plea deal, which he has confessed to 32 counts against him in the Criminal Court, and that he has also agreed to cooperate with the authorities in the corruption investigation.
In the same MMPRC case, former Vice President of the country Ahmed Adeeb, who confessed to his part in the grand corruption scheme with Ziyath, has been jailed for 20 years, also under a plea agreement.
The MMPRC case, which surfaced in 2015, is the largest corruption scandal to rock the Maldives in history. Following initial investigations, the Auditor General’s Office disclosed that MVR 1.2 billion in state funds, acquired via island and lagoon leases, had been embezzled via the corporation, which later increased to MVR 1.4 billion after the investigation by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).