The Prosecutor General (PG’s) Office today requested that the High Court void a previous Criminal Court dismissal of four corruption cases against People’s Alliance (PA) MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim.
Nazim had been cleared by the Criminal Court of all four corruption charges against him on February 23, 2012. The decision was taken 16 days after the controversial transfer of power on February 7, with the court ruling that Nazim’s “acts were not enough to criminalize him.”
All four cases concerned public procurement tenders of the former Atolls Ministry, which were alleged to have been secured through fraudulent documents and paper companies.
The state prosecutor during today’s hearing claimed that the Criminal Court had acted in contradiction to the procedures normally applied in criminal cases.
The prosecutor also alleged that in passing the ruling to dismiss the cases, the Criminal Court had failed to consider any of the evidence provided by the state.
During today’s appeal hearing, the PG’s Office stated that the dismissal of the cases had breached the constitutional decree of equal treatment to all citizens. Concerns were also raised that the Criminal Court had acted against the norms of procedure in similar cases by ruling that two counts of fraud cases against Nazim could not be prosecuted.
Considering these grounds, the state asked the High Court to rule void the Criminal Court’s dismissal of the four cases, and to order the court to rule on the cases anew.
Nazim dismissed the state’s allegations in court today, local media reported. Speaking on his behalf, his lawyer alleged that the state’s appeal case was “based around a lie”.
Nazim’s lawyer responded to the state’s allegation that the Criminal Court had not followed procedures by claiming that the court had presented the state with an opportunity to present their case during hearings.
The defendant’s lawyer also alleged that the witnesses named by the state had not been presented in court as they were not believed to be fair or impartial witnesses.
Last month, Nazim slammed PG Ahmed Muizzu in parliament, stating that he had failed to either come to a decision on or forward to court some 72 percent of cases submitted to his office by the Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The criticisms levelled by Nazim were dismissed at the time by the PG himself, who said that the claims were inaccurate.
PG Ahmed Muizzu and MP Ahmed Nazim were not responding to calls at the time of press.