State witnesses defend MP accused of corruption

Five prosecution witnesses defended Kaashidhoo MP Ismail Abdul Hameed at Civil Court today from allegations of corruption during his time as Director of Male’ municipality waste management section.

The Independent MP for Kaafu Atoll Kaashidhoo stands accused by the state of abuse of power for undue gain in importing a Rf8.6 million barge from Indonesia in 2008 and making advance LC payment before the vessel arrived in the Maldives.

Newspaper Haveeru reports that former municipality employee Ali Rasheed however testified at court today that the barge was brand new apart from scraped paint that could be explained by its month-long journey to the country.

The state attorney pointed out that Rasheed had previously told the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that the vessel was rust-coloured.

Three of the other witnesses backed Rasheed claiming that the rust was caused by insufficient sand glassing before applying paint.

All three insisted that the vessel was brand new.

Ismail Abdul Hameed meanwhile claimed that US$28,000 was left unpaid to the Indonesian company under an agreement between the parties to use the remaining amount for repairs if the vessel was not satisfactory.

Finance Ministry Director General Sami Ageel testified that the state did not suffer financial loss in the transaction.