Male’, Maldives – The names of former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdullah Ziyath and Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb have been presented to the government to testify against Sun Investment Private limited regarding the MMPRC corruption.
Sun Investment Private limited has been charged of money laundering for the embezzlement of money from the lease of R. Fugguri through MMPRC. However, Sun has denied all charges against the company. MP of Meedhoo Constituency and leader of MDA Ahmed Siyam is a shareholder of the company as well.
At a hearing held earlier this month, Sun Group’s attorney Ali Shah said that his client denies the charges “raised on baseless accusations”. Following the company’s decision to deny the charges, both the prosecutors and defence were given the chance to present any documents or evidence necessary for the case at Sunday’s hearing.
The state presented evidence against Sun at today’s hearing which includes former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)’s former MD, Abdulla Ziyath, as witnesses. Both individuals signed plea deals with state, in the charges raised against them in relation to the MMPRC corruption scandal.
When given the chance to present their evidence, the defence said they were not fully prepared to do so and stressed that the 15-day period given to prepare for trial has not ended. He also expressed disappointment in how the trial was proceeding. Presiding Judge Ahmed Shakeel decided to given them five more days to prepare.
At the last hearing in the case, the Sun Group attorney noted that a state institution is yet to declare that the said money was obtained through bribery. Further noting that transactions were carried out in the name of currency exchange, Shah stressed that this can only be determined by a financial institution or the central bank.
Noting that there are others charged over the Fuggiri case including former president Yameen, prosecutors responded that they are not required to prove that money was obtained through corrupt practices. Further, the state’s attorney highlighted that documents provided by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) show that Sun Investment did not have a currency exchange license.
While jailed former President Abdulla Yameen was charged with bribery and money laundering earlier this year, in relation to the leasing of Fuggiri island in Raa atoll for resort development, the company is accused laundering USD 1.1 million acquired by the former president as a bribe