The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has sent a case to the Prosecutor General to charge former Acting Home Minister Ameen Faisal for his role in setting free a Maldivian man sentenced to life by a Sri Lankan court for drug smuggling.
The ACC in a statement said that a man – identified as Ibrahim Adam Manik of Gomashige in Mahchangolhi, Male’, son of Male’ City Councillor ‘Sarangu’ Adam Manik – was sentenced to life by the High Court of Sri Lanka in Negombo and brought to Male’ on March 29, 2009.
According to the ACC, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Justice and Law Reform agreed to send him back after the Maldivian Home Ministry gave assurances that his sentence would be implemented in a Maldivian prison.
The ACC said that their investigation had found out the letter from Maldivian Home Ministry was sent by the then Acting Home Minister Ameen Faisal – a senior member of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) who had filled a number of senior government portfolios.
In the letter, Faisal had agreed that the Maldivian Home Ministry would take responsibility for implementing Ibrahim Adam Manik’s sentence.
The ACC said that the prisoner was brought to the Maldives before asking for legal advice from the then-Attorney General, and that the then-Acting Home Minister had not clarified whether there was a legal procedure whereby Maldivian prisoners abroad could be transferred to the Maldives to complete their sentence.
On February 12, 2008, the Maldives and Sri Lanka signed an agreement to transfer prisoners, although the two countries have not exchanged documents regarding the implementation of the agreement and have no legal procedure on how to transfer the prisoners, the ACC said.
Moreover, the ACC said that Ibrahim Adam Manik was brought to the Maldives a few days after the Sri Lankan High Court had sentenced him to life whilst there were many other Maldivians serving life sentences at foreign prisons.
The ACC concluded that this action in the case constituted abuse of public power for private benefit, which is considered a crime under the Anti-Corruption Act’s article 12(a).
When contacted for a comment regarding the matter, Faisal told Minivan News he said he was busy and asked to be contacted later. He was not responding to further calls at the time of press.