Ziyath gets handed an 11 year sentence

Former Managing Director of Maldives Media and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdullah Ziyath | Photo via Avas

Male’, Maldives – After Former Managing Director of Maldives Media and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdullah Ziyath, who entered a plea bargain with the state in which he agreed to plead guilty for a total of 32 counts, has been served with an 11 year jail sentence.

During a hearing yesterday at the Criminal court, Ziyath plead guilty to all 32 counts the state accuses him of, confirming that he was not forced to entered the plea deal.

The Judge at the hearing, went through all 32 counts and asked Ziyath each time, when he plead guilty, if his answer was due to any external pressure or coercing.

The state accuses Ziyath of being involved in the embezzlement of USD 50.7 million (MVR 781 million) , but he claims that he did not receive any of the money, and that he handed cheques collected as payment for acquisition costs of islands and lagoons leased through MMPRC, to an individual former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, requested the cheques be handed over to.

Adeeb, who also confessed to his part in the MMPRC corruption under a plea agreement, is currently serving a 20 year jail sentence.

Ziyath is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after being found guilty of swindling USD 5 million in acquisition costs of Lh. Maabin Huraa in 2016. He was moved to house arrest earlier this year

Ziyath had previously plead guilty to all 32 counts at an appeal hearing held on the 23rd of November at the Supreme Court of Maldives regarding the case of Lh. Maabin Huraa.

Since Ziyath said he accepting all charges of his own volition, and his legal team made no objections to the proposed 11 year sentence yesterday, Judge Ali Adam concluded the hearing and scheduled the verdict for the 6th of December.