Did not receive MMPRC money, will resign if prosecuted: MP Azim

Parliament member for Henveiru central constituency and Maldivian Democratic Party's parliamentary group leader, Ali Azim | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – MP for Medhu Henveiru Constituency and MDP Parliamentary Group Leader Ali Azim has stated that he did not receive any money from the MMPRC corruption and if he is ever prosecuted regarding the case he will resign.

The joint parliament committee on National Security Services and the Judiciary Committee, the corruption have passed a report after investigation, and have published a list of all involved. The list included 4 MDP senior members who are also Members of Parliament. Azim, named in this list, is alleged to have received MVR 1 million.

In an interview to news outlet “Adhahdu”, Azim denied these allegations, noting that the asset recovery commission does not suspect him of this, and if they do, the commission would have questioned him regarding the matter in the three years since they have been active.

“I can confidently say that I will not be in this seat once a complaint involving me concludes investigation and goes to court. I will also not continue as a member of parliament. That is how sure I am that I did not receive any MMPRC money.”

Ali Azim

Azim, who is the Vice Chairperson of the National Security Services Committee, has resigned from the committee. He stated that he temporarily left the committee to allow them to work independently, however, he will be working at the committee again starting tomorrow.

After Azim was named in the list, he has sent a letter to the president of the Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission Ahmed Assad, in which he stated that his name was mentioned in the list under suggestions from specific individuals, as his opinions and political views have been seen as unacceptable.

When pressed on this answer, he further explained that while his name was not on the list released by the Anti Corruption Commission, it was surprising to see his name on the new list. Azim disclosed that there are many people after his posts as MP for Medhu Henveiru Constituency and MDP PG Leader, and thus, they want to tarnish his name.

The MP stated that the MMPRC corruption is one incident that he is very concerned about, adding that if more of these cases occur there is no telling what direction the country will head. He also noted that he has been vocally against the MMPRC corruption.

Azim requested that if he is suspected of any wrongdoing, the following investigation should be done quickly and the case sent for prosecution. He added that he should be summoned for questioning as soon as possible if this is the case.

When asked about the allegations of Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s close associate Mohamed Hussain going to Azim’s residence with MVR 1 million, Azim said that he did not receive any money and Adeeb has given statement which confirms this.

Multiple text messages between Azim and Adeeb from 2014 have been leaked, where multiple request between the two have emerged. These include numerous erquests from Azim to meet Adeeb, along with a request to obtain a construction letter of Kanbaalifaru.

Azim stated that the latter request was made as he had a 3% stake in the company that was building a resort in Kanbaalifaru and he had to request assistance from Adeeb as he was not getting the required assistance from the government.

The leaked messages also indicated that Azim requested to meet Adeeb right before and after MDP PG meetings. Regarding this, Azim stated that these requests were made not to discuss the PG meetings, adding that he has never discussed PG meeting information with Adeeb.

The messages also revealed Adeeb used Azim to please some members of MDP for his own agenda.

Azim stated that for smooth running of political matters, it is important to speak with opposition members, and that he has met with Adeeb.

He further noted that he has a close relationship with Adeeb and also with Adeeb’s close associate Hamid Ismail whose house Azim has visited many times. The messages have revealed that for one of these meetings, Adeeb advised Azim to bring a bag.

When asked about this, Azim stated that Abdullah Jaleel is close to him and Jaleel has business relations with Adeeb. The request to bring a bag was so that Adeeb could give Jaleel a gift which was a liquid Azim did not name.

The list has revealed 119 individuals currently involved in the government. Efforts are underway by the committee to depose named political appointees.

While elected officials cannot be relieved of their duties unless they resign or convicted. the committee has decided to request relevant authorities to quickly prosecuted such individuals.

Azim stated that he is against this decision, adding that the asset recovery commission’s responsibility is to recover finances which were lost from the government, and not to slander people.