High Court concludes hearings of MP Hameed’s appeal

The High Court concluded hearings last Thursday of the appeal by Independent MP Ismail Abdul Hameed of the Criminal Court verdict finding him guilty of abuse of authority.

The MP for Kaashidhoo was sentenced to one year and six months banishment after he was found guilty of misusing his authority as the former Director of Waste Management at the Male’ municipality to financially benefit a Singaporean company named Island Logistics in the purchase of a barge.

According to local media reports, Judge Abdulla Didi noted in the verdict that the agreement stipulated the barge was to be delivered within 90 days of signing the agreement, upon which 50 percent of the value was to be paid to Island Logistics.

Although the barge arrived in the Maldives on October 23, 2008, Hameed had however signed a document claiming that the barge was delivered on schedule on April 28, 2008.

At the High Court hearing, Hameed’s lawyer however submitted documents showing Hameed visited Indonesia to claim the barge and a letter from the municipality to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) requesting the barge be released.

Hameed insists he signed the delivery forms after the government officially claimed the barge. Moreover, Hameed’s lawyer argued that government violated the agreement by not making payments on time and Hameed negotiated with the company to ensure the delivery of the barge.

The state attorney countered that Hameed signed the documents before the barge arrived in the Male’ harbour.

The High Court adjourned the hearing after informing the parties that a verdict would be issued at the next court date.