Malé, Maldives — Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) states that they have still not made a decision on prosecuting Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof under the MMPRC major corruption scandal.
While Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has completed and corrected all the required elements requested by the PGO and sent the case back to the Office, PGO earlier informed that they will make a decision regarding the case by the end of last week.
When PGO was questioned regarding this by the local media outlet “AdduLive,” a media official of PGO informed that they have still not made a decision on whether Minister Mahloof needs to be prosecuted for the case against him. The official also stated that it is difficult to decide a specific date on when the decision can be made.
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. He said 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 and that this is the case of Minister Mahloof as well.
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.
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.