The Presidential Commission (PC) is investigating alleged misuse of state funds following an alleged car accident involving former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s son, Gassan Maumoon, in Liverpool, England.
PC Spokesperson Abdulla Haseen told Minivan News today that an investigation commenced “some time ago” based on complaints and requests to look into the longstanding allegations.
“We are not saying whether it happened or not,” he stressed. “We are looking into it to determine the truth or falsehood of the allegations. We are now receiving assistance from authorities in the UK.”
He added that the PC could not reveal which authorities in England were aiding the investigation “for fear of possible interference.”
“The allegation is that there was an accident involving Gassan in Liverpool where a person was killed,” he explained, “and that state funds were illegally transferred out of the country.”
Asked if the money in question was used to post bail, Haseen said “that’s one of the things we are looking into.”
The PC spokesperson said that he could not divulge further details at this stage of the investigation.
Speaking to Minivan News, Mohamed Waheed “Wadde,” lawyer for Gayoom’s family, said that Gassan has decided to sue Haseen personally for defamation.
“We are not suing because of the investigation,” he explained. “The investigation should go ahead. We are not suing the commission. Instead we are filing a case against Haseen personally for spreading deliberate falsehoods without any proof to back it up.”
He added that the legal team had “audio of Haseen saying Gassan killed a person.”
Haseen however said that he was “confident” of defending himself in court against the defamation charges.
“If they feel anyone’s rights were violated, they are free to sue, there is no problem with that,” he said. “But what I was surprised by was their claim that the allegations were made by me personally.”
Haseen contended that his statements in the media were made in his capacity “as an employee of a lawfully formed institution.”
“All I said was that we are looking into the allegations and that an investigation is ongoing,” he said. “I didn’t say Gassan killed anyone or paid to cover it up.”
Waheed meanwhile said that the defamation case would be filed at court “next week, God willing.”
The former President’s lawyer insisted that there was “absolutely no truth” to the allegations, suggesting that the claims were part of government’s efforts to periodically attack Gayoom in the media “because they are scared of him and his rising popularity.”
“Their intention here is to hide the fact that neither the government nor the presidential commission has been able to do anything,” he said. “It is meant to hide their incompetence and keep hold of their high posts and salaries.”