Corruption case against former media council members continues

The Anti-Corruption Commission has forwarded the cases of seven former members of the Maldives Media Council (MMC) accused of ignoring a directive to return allowances deemed illegal, local media has reported.

Sun Online has reported that charged are being pursued against a total of 10 former MMC members.

A 2011 Auditor General’s report revealed that members took almost Rf 900,000 in additional allowances – fees which the MMC subsequently asked to be returned.

The report stated that the living allowance was an illegal expense, despite parliament having approved the MMC’s budget which included the allowance. It was noted that the MMC had behaved inappropriately for an institution that was required by nature to have the trust and confidence of the public.

The following year’s audit report revealed that 13 of the MMC’s members had failed to return the MVR7,500 (US$478).

A recent survey conducted by local NGO Transparency Maldives revealed that only 12 percent of those interviewed believed public officials and civil servants to be free from corruption.