Judge frees Nazim from all corruption charges: “acts not enough to criminalise”

The Criminal court has dismissed three remaining counts of fraud against Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim, stating that his “acts were not enough to criminalise him”.

All four cases against Nazim concerned public procurement tenders of the former Atolls Ministry secured through fraudulent documents and paper companies.

Judge Saeed Ibrahim on Wednesday ruled that two counts of fraud against Nazim – for setting up several paper companies to win a bid worth US$110,000, provide 15,000 national flags for the atolls ministry in 2003, and a similar tender worth US$92,412 to provide 15,000 national flags in 2005, could not be prosecuted.

The third count – conspiracy to defraud the ministry in 2003 in a similar manner to win a public tender for procuring US$115,758 worth of mosque sound systems – was also dismissed.

Wednesday’s rulings came following a similar decision by the court on Tuesday that Nazim cannot be prosecuted for the charges of defrauding the now-defunct Ministry of Atolls Development, in the purchase of 220 harbour lights worth Rf1.95 million (US$126,000) in 2004.

With the court’s decision to not prosecute Nazim over any of the counts, he has now been cleared of all the charges filed against him following the police investigation into the tender and procurement fraud first flagged in a ministry audit report released in early 2009.

During the three year trial, prosecutors maintained that Nazim laundered cash through Namira Engineering while he was the company’s Managing Director, by setting up several unregistered or paper companies and using Namira’s equipments and staff to bid for public tenders on those companies name.

According to the audit report, the auditors have found evidence linking those companies to Nazim with phone and fax numbers stated on the bidding documents registered under his address while the company shareholders were same people working at Namira or relatives of Nazim.

Then-employees of Namira testified under oath that they were instructed by Nazim to bid for the projects – however, the residing judge concluded from their testimonies that they were responsible for the procurement fraud and therefore dismissed the testimonies against Nazim on all counts, adding that they were all alike.

The judge also concluded that Nazim’s “acts were not enough to criminalise” him legally.

If Nazim had been found guilty, he would have been ordered to pay a total sum of US$345,170 paid by the state for the projects and sentenced to between one to six years imprisonment.

Under provision 131 of the penal code, an extra month will be added to the jail sentence for every additional Rf1,000 if the fraudulent transaction exceeds Rf100,000.

According to article 73 of the constitution, an MP convicted for over one year in jail will lose his seat.

Meanwhile, rulings are still pending on fraud charges filed against Atolls Minister Abdullah Hameed [half brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom] and Eydhafushi MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, former director of finance at the ministry who were implicated in the case.

At a press conference in August 2009, Chief Inspector Ismail Atheef said police had uncovered evidence that implicated Nazim in fraudulent transactions worth over US$260,000 (Mrf 3,446,950).

Police exhibited numerous quotations, agreements, tender documents, receipts, bank statements and forged cheques proving that Nazim received over US$400,000 in the case.

A hard disk seized during a raid of Nazim’s office in May allegedly contained copies of forged documents and bogus letter heads.

Police further alleged that MP Saleem actively assisted from the atoll ministry while Nazim’s wife Zeenath Abdullah had abused her position as a manager of the Bank of Maldives’ Villingili branch to deposit proceeds of the fraudulent conspiracy.

Police said Hameed, played a key role in the fraud by handing out bids without public announcements, making advance payments using cheques against the state asset and finance regulations, approving bid documents for unregistered companies and discriminatory treatment of bid applicants.

Despite the allegations, Nazim had steadily pleaded not guilty.

Minivan News could not reach Nazim at time of press.

However, in an interview to the local media outlet Sun following the rulings, Nazim claimed the  four cases were baseless and had been leveled at him by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration, using false evidence.

He welcomed the ruling as a testimony to the existence of an independent judiciary: “”Today we are guaranteed of the existence of an independent and trustworthy judiciary. Former President Nasheed an the MDP will now believe we have an independent judiciary, because they know that the four cases were schemed with manufactured evidence. These are are absolutely untrue and baseless cases.”


12 thoughts on “Judge frees Nazim from all corruption charges: “acts not enough to criminalise””

  1. "Today we are guaranteed of the existence of an independent and trustworthy judiciary"
    Guaranteed by who exactly?

  2. Hmmm .... now for the cases with guilty verdicts against MDP Parliamentarians. I wonder how Mr. Nazim kept a straight face in that interview. He is of a higher league, an ordinary thief would be ashamed.

    We need a proper revolution to establish a system of law and order, where the threat of retribution would deter would be criminals like Nazim and Gasim.

    Gasim especially needs to be made an example of. If he is allowed to get away, it would not just be justice denied to ordinary citizens but set a precedence for businessmen who have the financial reach to organize coups, to do so with impunity.

    I noticed a few Europeans commenting on Minivan. Please spread the word. Boycott Villa Hotels, they are cheaper than most because they pay a pittance and exploit poor Bangladeshi labourers. Mr. Gasim uses this money to fund VTV which spreads hatred against the "Jews and Christians" including President Nasheed. This man probably funded, publicly called on the police to rebel, leading to the coup.

  3. The cases of Nazim and Yamin Abdul Gayyoom has a lot of similarity to the State of New York's battles with the notorious Mafia.

    Just as the Mafia bribed, blackmailed or used any other means to silence their opponents, Nazim and Yamin continue to do the same here in the Maldives.

    Nazim has amassed a huge amount of wealth, most of it through illegal means; but he has laundered that wealth over a number of years and it will be very difficult to pin him down now.

    These cases represented some hope that there was some justice in this country, but that's totally vapourised now. Nazim will carry on his usual ways. But he should be warned that this not over yet.

  4. We knew that the gaps in the constitution and judiciary are bid enough to let jets pass through, but this is beyond comprehension.

    He is innocent?

    Be warned! This is a massive step that push the credibility of the current government. A lot of unbiased, will sway towards MDP, just for this reason only.

  5. This is a slap in the face not to MDP and the work President Nasheed did to bring justice to our people. This is a slap in the face of all Maldivians who have had to stand by and watch the violation of our rights by the people appointed as judges.

    It is also fantastic news for the MDP and President Nasheed as it vindicates what they have been saying for three years: we have a corrupt judiciary.

    Hope was raised when Dr Waheed announced a Road map and formed a committee to move forward to reform the judiciary. As Miadhu article President Waheed’s Reform Roadmap sunk before launching? reports:

    “Maldivian hopes for true democratic reform waned yesterday as political parties undermined President Waheed’s proposed Reform Roadmap. Key political leaders stayed away from the much anticipated All-Party talks today, instead sending representatives of little or no political weight. Citizen confidence in the Talks died as the whole exercise was exposed as just another drama of going though the motions of following due democratic process”
    It goes on to say
    “Of the political parties, only President Waheed’s party Qaumee Itthihaad (QI), MDP and People’s Alliance (PA) appeared to give the Talks any importance. QI sent its Secretary General Ahmed Thaufeeq (the most senior official next to its President, Dr. Waheed). MDP sent its Parliamentary Group Leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a key decision maker who is reported to have full autonomy in negotiating for his party. Similarly, PA sent its Parliamentary Group Leader, Deputy Speaker of Majlis Ahmed Nazim, also with decision making authority on behalf of his party.
    In stark contrast, People’s Progressive Party (PPM) sent MP Ilham Mohamed, an individual low down in the PPM hierarchy with no authority for decision making on behalf of his party. Dhivehi Raiyyithunge Party (DRP) sent its “appointed” Deputy Leader, Ahmed Mohamed, again with no authority for decision making with respect to Thasmeen Ali’s one-man party. Similarly, Dr. Hassan Saeed’s one-man party, Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) sent its Secretary General, an individual whose mandate does not include political negotiations on behalf of the party. Jumhooree Party (JP) and Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) sent similar minions of party spokesperson level in the party hierarchy.
    Of key importance here is that the four major parties involved in the National Unity Government (NUG), DRP, PPM, JP and DQP have shown by their public snub that they have absolutely no interest in working out a peaceful solution with President Waheed or the MDP. The public know the reality that the ranks of major parties like PPM and DRP are packed with experienced educated individuals who may better contribute to discussions of such national importance as the Reform Roadmap”
    As with the author of this article, I fail to see commitment by the major Political parties for Dr Waheed’s initiative.

    What the former opposition, now in the corridors of power fail to understand is that we are tired of being voiceless and powerless. We have been denied justice for far too long.

    Our parliament members are our only hope now. Let us hope they take the actions they need to take to address this blatant and cynical abuse of the justice system.

    If they fail, they must know that the people will not stand for this anymore and the jihaadh to restore our rights and the constitutional reform that will give our rights will continue. We will not stand for this blatant and cynical abuse of justice by the courts.
    They should know that the next election will be fought on the platform for justice.

    We will demonstrate with our vote. That is if we still have the vote...like evrything else that is being brought back, election fraud notorious in Gayooms regime will be brought back too, no dioubt.

  6. Nazim's employees committed the crime.Their signatures were on the bid documents. They say Nazim asked them to do the illegal bidding. Only Nazim is prosecuted.What kind of justice.The employees get immunity deals.And FAT jobs from Nasheed's government. One of them even got the post of State Minister.

  7. what are we supposed to take away from this?
    Jangiya Nazim, Abdullah Hameed and red wave saleem are all Highly moral, ethical and professional executives who had followed corporate and good governance codes of conduct to the last letter and somehow they are the poor victims of a conspiracy by the state!
    To the judge who ruled in nazims favor, I just have one question, what is in your video tape?

  8. Like it or not, Jangiya or who rule of law applies. Not man of law like Nasheed did.

  9. Sorry~
    “acts were not enough to criminalise him”.

    Cannot come to think that a criminal judge, in a criminal court, can ever find anything against, to criminalise a criminal!

    Just wonder what the three learned Sheikhs would say about these judges!

    Allah’s angels! Sent down to serve justice to the people of Maldives! Same as they did to interpret actions of forces on the 7th and 8th of Februarythe as angels of Allah, sent down with Allah’s weapons to rid Maldives of an unjust and in-Islamic ruler and serve justice to the peoples!

  10. @So what! on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 2:25 AM

    "To the judge who ruled in nazims favor, I just have one question, what is in your video tape?"

    Exactly my question as well. In addition, there could be audio media too! Blackmail is the name of the game...

  11. I don't think most Maldivians are blind that much.Lets hope for a free and fair election and a good government that can put order in our society.The judiciary is rubbish!!!


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