ACC investigating former Adhaalath Party head’s bribery allegations against two judges

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is examining photographs of all pilgrims who went on hajj last year, following allegations of bribery levied against two sitting judges.

The allegations were made by former President of the Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Hussain Rasheed.

Sheikh Rasheed said during a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally in January that he had met a Maldivian businessman while in Saudi Arabia, who told him he had paid two Maldivian judges a sum of MVR 12.3 million (US$ 797,148.41).

According to the report, the ACC began analysing the photographs to identity the businessman to which the former Adhaalath Party leader had referred.

Speaking to Minivan News, President of the ACC Hassan Luthfee confirmed the ACC was investigating the matter. He said Rasheed was summoned for questioning following the allegations.

“The investigations are currently going on. While investigating we will be looking into all the relevant documents and other details,” he said.

Luthfee declined to comment on whether the commission was analysing the photographs of the pilgrims, but said the commission would “utilise all the information it can get on the case.”

He declined to give any further details.

Rasheed alleged the businessman had paid one judge a sum of US$70,000 (MVR 1.079 million) while the other was paid US$50,000 (MVR 771,000) on two different occasions, a sum of US$170,000.

Speaking to Minivan News on Thursday, Rasheed confirmed that he was summoned to the commission and added that he had “given all the details and names of the people involved in the deal”.

“These are stories that are being constantly discussed in society. The businessman told me about the case, and it is a duty to let the public know of such critical matters, especially when it concerns people who we go to seek justice,” he said.

Rasheed further claimed that certain controversial decisions reached in the courts the acquittal of criminals suggested “something is really going wrong”.

“The courts have ruled that printing counterfeit dollars is not a crime. How is that not a crime? It is a crime even under international law,” he said.

Rasheed noted that the courts failed to find any wrongdoing on behalf of a man who put Japanese aid money in his personal bank account, referring to an embezzlement case involving former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s half brother, Abdulla Algeen Abdul Gayoom.

Algeen – also the younger brother MP Abdulla Yameen, ex-President Gayoom’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential hopeful – was accused of embezzling US$177,460 of Japanese funding from the Department of Meteorology (DOM), when he was the director.

Algeen allegedly sent three separate invoices to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) between May 2006 and April 2007 on behalf of DOM. All three invoices demanded payment to Algeen’s personal Bank of Maldives account.

However, in acquitting the case, Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Didi ruled that the state could not prove that the money in question was owed by JAMSTEC to the government.

Following the former Adhaalath Party leader’s allegations, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) also discussed probing into the allegations.

A JSC spokesperson told Minivan News at the time that after the allegations were made public, members of the commission had discussed an investigation.

“The matter was discussed during a JSC meeting,” the spokesperson said previously. Asked whether a decision was reached, he replied “there were many items on the agenda.”

Minivan News on Thursday confirmed that the JSC was not investigation any of the allegations.

Former JSC member and whistleblower, Aishath Velezinee, in her book The Failed Silent Coup: in Defeat They Reached for the Gun extensively highlighted the watchdog body’s undermining of judicial independence, and complicity in sabotaging the separation of powers.

In her book, she recounted her experience as she attempted to stop the commission from re-appointing unqualified and ethically-suspect judges loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, after it dismissed the professional and ethical standards demanded by Article 285 of the constitution as “symbolic”.

That moment at the conclusion of the constitutional interim period marked the collapse of the new constitution and resulted in the appointment of a illegitimate judiciary, Velezinee contended, and set in motion a chain of events that ultimately led to President Mohamed Nasheed’s arrest of Chief Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed two years later.

In 2004, a report by judicial expert Professor Paul Robinson assessed the country’s criminal justice system, and found in his report that “serious efforts” were required to increase the quality of judges.

“Serious efforts must be made to provide substantial training to current judges in order to ensure that all have the background they need in both law and Shari’a. Perhaps more importantly, no judge should be hired who does not already have the needed training,” he wrote.


12 thoughts on “ACC investigating former Adhaalath Party head’s bribery allegations against two judges”

  1. This is the guy who openly said that if he has any power he will force all women to cover up like penguins.

    He is a terrorist!

  2. So let's get this straight. Algeen invoiced JAMSTEC on behalf of the Department of Meteorology (DOM). As far as I am aware, DOM is an agency of the Maldivian government, and not the private property of either Algeen or his family.

    The remittance from those invoices were then paid into Algeen's personal account. How in the world does that not become fraud? You would getter better justice (and better qualified judges) in Mogadishu!

  3. then why we can not get the truth from Japan? Since the money was sent by Japanese authority , this can easily be investigate,

  4. @kuribee on Thu, 21st Feb 2013 10:35 PM

    "then why we can not get the truth from Japan? Since the money was sent by Japanese authority , this can easily be investigate,"

    You really want the answer? It is because there is a different law in the Maldives for the Gayyoom family. The so-very-independent Prosecutor General (PG) cannot be bothered to verify the truth and ask the Japanese, so the PG deliberately does not produce enough evidence to get a prosecution.

    That's happened in so many cases; another prominent example is that of Jangiyaa Nazim.

  5. @kuribee: They can confirm for having sent the money, it's just that Judge Abdhullah ruled that the money in Algeen's account was not confirmed to be the same money that the Japanese gave DoM. Get it? It's bullshit and one of worst examples of the courts being corrupt. It's no wonder why Nasheed would hole up in the Indian High Commission than attend a court in this country.

    I REALLY REALLY hope that the courts get a complete sweep and is free of all the stench from the Gayyoom era soon.

  6. @andrew andreas
    Its dumb to shoot the messenger, even if its adhaalath or whichever nutcase that youre dealing with, if they come clean with some good information, then act on it. Not condemn it

  7. @Damn on Fri, 22nd Feb 2013 1:33 PM

    I will shoot the messenger, after his information is verified and acted upon. This guy is a complete total hypocrite and a terrorist! These kind of guys ARE the root of problems in Maldives.

  8. Nasheed had ruled the country for three years. and he even formed presidential commission to investigate few cases like this ?

    I wonder why those people had not done enough to complete the investigation.

    There is no difference between Nasheed and gayoom except Gayyoom was able to fool the people for 30 years where Nasheed was able to fool the people for just 3 years.

  9. Here we are talking about justice and seeking justice.

    The many who are commenting, be it Andrew Andreas, Andhiri Andhirin, risen from the grave, someone related to anyone of the Leggi Baburu, or who ever is sucking out of any of these people cannot, and will never want to hear anything wrong said to or done to MAG, family or anyone who sides with him and his family!

    Everyone other than them. are all wrong! They alone shall have the merit of saying so, and they alone are on the right path to where ever they are destined!

    Logic and common sense would mean nothing to them!

    Yes! Sheikh Hussain Rasheed should howsoever be a terrorist, because he is terrorizing the MAG family!

    I just wonder why PG is silent! He should by now be frying Sheikh Hussain Rasheed's ass first!

  10. He should also be investigated for sexually abusing young girls who were entrusted to him as a Quran teacher. Many of those girls are now grown ups, but they will remain scarred for life.

  11. this columist is a funy man,he starts with foolish rasheed and ends with arogant maumoon.ridiculous isnt it.


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