The Criminal Court today ruled that MP ‘Red Wave’ Ahmed Saleem not guilty in the corruption case filed by the state, accusing him of paying Neyza Enterprises Private Limited 50 percent of the money given to the former atolls ministry to buy sound systems for mosques in the islands.
“Redwave” Saleem, who was the former director of finance at the Atolls Ministry, faced charges of conspiracy to defraud the former Atolls Ministry in the purchase of the mosque sound systems.
The alleged corruption was uncovered in the audit report of the now defunct Atolls Ministry, released in 2009.
The court ruled that according to witnesses and statements, Saleem was not the person assigned to make announcements for bids.
The court also ruled that none of the statements or witnesses produced to the court proved that Saleem has abused his position to defraud the Atolls Ministry.
Following a police investigation requested by the Presidential Commission, the Prosecutor General’s Office had charged Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim, MP Saleem and former Atolls Minister Abdulla Hameed with three counts of conspiracy to defraud, abuse of power and violation of the state finance and asset regulations.
According to newspaper ‘Sun’, witnesses told the court that Saleem was not the person who was announcing for bids. The person who handled that duty, witnesses said, was Naseema Moosa, who was dead.
Last week the Criminal Court dropped all charges against Nazim, an MP in the party headed by Gayoom’s half-brother, Abdulla Yameen.
The dismissed the three remaining counts of fraud against Nazim, stating that his “acts were not enough to criminalise him”.
The Supreme Court has disqualified former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed Musthafa over a decreed debt which the court concluded makes him constitutionally ineligible to remain in the seat.
MDP MP Mohamed Musthafa was also that week disqualified from his seat by the Supreme Court which upheld a verdict concerning a decreed debt, which the court concluded made him constitutionally ineligible to remain in the seat.
Two judges, including the Chief of Justice Ahmed Faiz, concluded that it cannot be ruled Musthafa had a decreed debt as the loan had been taken on the name of Musthafa’s company Seafood and Trade International and added that in August 1997 the lower court had ordered the “company” to repay the loan.
Earlier this week the Supreme Court upheld criminal charges against Independent MP for Kaashidhoo Ismail Abdul Hameed, who has a record of voting alongside the MDP, and also stripped him from his seat.
The Criminal Court had last year sentenced the Independent MP to one and a half years banishment for corruption. The charges were upheld by the High Court in November.
The MDP meanwhile today accused the Dr Waheed’s government of using the courts to “purge” parliament of MDP MPs and MDP-leaning MPs, “in order to secure a controlling majority.
“While in government, MDP consistently maintained that key parts of the judiciary are in the hands of the supporters of former President Gayoom. Now we are seeing the truth of that claim. Dr Waheed’s regime is using the courts to settle old scores, to reduce MDP’s parliamentary majority and to wipe the slate clean for government supporters,” claimed MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.