Malé, Maldives – Referring to the ongoing controversial issue regarding the Prosecutor General’s refusal to charge those involved in the ventilator scandal, Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has said that he is not willing to let the matter go.
In a tweet he sent out earlier on Saturday morning, Nasheed said that the damage to be incurred by the public would be immense if the matter is swept under the rug.
If the ventilator issue is put a lid on, the damage to be incurred by the public is immense. It can be seen that the government had a part in this. MDP wouldn’t want to be with a stealing government. This needs to be changed and I am with the public, not willing to let this go.Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the Parliament, Maldives
Nasheed’s tweet comes at a time when he has also called for the resignation of Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, as well as the President of the Anti Corruptions Commission (ACC), Mariyam Shiuna regarding the ventilator scandal.
In MDP’s Parliamentary Group WhatsApp group on Sunday night, Speaker Nasheed questioned the “element” which PG office mentioned, stating that the reason for prosecution should be the fact that the ventilators were purchased using state funds.
According to ACC, the PG office had decided to uphold their earlier decision to not go ahead with the prosecution, stating that there was no new reason for changing PGs earlier stance on the case. They added that their review of the case submitted by ACC revealed no new elements that provide the basis for prosecuting those involved.
The entire ventilator scandal came to light following an audit by the Auditor General’s Office, which suggested foul play in all three contracts awarded by the Ministry of Health, to procure 142 ventilators for the state during the year 2020. These include the agreements made between Executors General Trading LLC for 75 ventilators, MedTech Maldives Pvt Ltd for 50 ventilators and with Naadu Pvt Ltd to acquire 24 ventilators, out of which the agreement with Executors General which became the most controversial of all.
ACC had forwarded 11 names, including that of Minister Ameen, to the Prosecutor General’s Office to be charged with corruption under part (a)(2) of section 511, part (a) of section 512, part (b) of section 513 and part (a)(1) of section 313 of the Penal Code of Maldives. However, PGO at the time refused to charge any of the individuals involved citing insufficient evidence.
While the then Health Minister Abdullah Ameen resigned from office after the matter hit headlines, some ventilators have since arrived. However, the new Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has said that there is no hope for any of the remaining ventilators to be received by the Maldives.