Malé, Maldives — Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has stated that a decision regarding the request to prosecute Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof under the MMPRC major corruption scandal will be made after all elements needed by PG Office is complete.
When a prosecution against Minister Mahloof was requested after a joint investigation on MMPRC scandal, PGO requested Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to complete a certain things regarding the case. PG Shameem said that this does not mean that PGO is trying not to prosecute because it is Minister Mahloof but that the PGO wishes to complete all elements including the administrative details before the case is presented to the court.
While Minister Mahloof has been confirmed to be included in the list of those involved in the MMPRC scandal, the Joint Committee report made in collaboration with the National Security Services committee (commonly known as 241 committee) and Judiciary committee regarding the major MMPRC corruption case has been passed to terminate the employees who are working in state positions if they are accused of being a part of the MMPRC corruption.
However, when PG Shameem was questioned why ACC was requested to complete all elements again, he responded by saying that in investigating a matter, PGO has a supervisory role where they have to give advice and further research and clear out things as well.
Speaking at a press conference held by , PG Shameem stated that as soon as a request to prosecute someone is sent to the PGO, their biggest focus is to check whether there is enough evidence to prove it at the court as they can anticipate the questions that will be asked in court. PG Shameem stated that this is the case of Minister Mahloof as well.
We want to be sure that it was not with our mistake of not finding something or not being able to find something that the court was not able to prove or the prosecution could not be carried out against the person.PG Hussain Shameem
As journalists repeatedly asked PG Shameem whether certain elements were asked to be completed because the prosecution was regarding a certain person, he responded by saying that there is no such decision to prosecute or not prosecute a person because of who it is.
Noting that there are rumors that he is afraid, PG Shameem questioned what he should be afraid of and reminded the people that he even prosecuted state ministers of this government and even former Presidents.
According to the investigation carried out by Maldives Police Service, Presidential Commission on Corruption and Asset Recovery and Anti Corruption Commission over the MMPRC corruption, Mahloof had taken a bribe of USD 33,000 to vote for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill and also to remain in Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
In addition to this, the joint investigation also showed that the investigation was able to link the text messages exchanged between Mahloof and Former Vice President of Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb (Bro) and the money deposited by SOF cheque of USD 33,000 to Mahloof to the vote taken in parliament as a bribe.
Mahloof, in his defence, says that he was a PPM Council member at the time of the vote of SEZ bill and voted as per the three-line whip set out for the vote by the party.
It was also revealed that Mahloof had given forged documents to Anti-Corruption Commission in an attempt to show that he had done a legitimate transaction to purchase dollars from SOF.
On the contrary, Mahloof accused that some names from the list had been removed due to political influence before being published and that he was being treated unfairly in the investigation. Mahloof also added that if the investigation was being carried out without any bias against him that he would not remain in his position as a minister for even a single day.