Malé, Maldives – Speaking at a press conference today, the Spokesperson of the President’s Office Mabrook Azeez said that the government urges the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) to expedite Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof’s case.
Stating that it is concerning to not have an active Sports Minister, with Mahloof put on suspension pending the decision to prosecute or not, Spokesperson Mabrook said that the government will not intervene with the PGO procedures. He added that there is little the government can do, however, urged the PGO to expedite the case.
Sports Minister has been removed from his duties since June 2021 with PGO investigating an alleged MMPRC bribery case.
President Solih previously in August 2021, requested the PGO to fast track Mahloof’s case. Meanwhile, Mahloof has accused the PGO of malicious persecution with political machinations.
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.