Deputy Speaker Nazim submits six witnesses in corruption trial

Deputy Speaker of Parliament MP Ahmed Nazim submitted six witnesses in his defence last week at the ongoing corruption trial at the Criminal Court.

The minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) MP is facing multiple counts of conspiracy to defraud the former Atolls Ministry.

Among the witnesses submitted by Nazim at Thursday’s hearing were MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who is also facing similar charges of corruption for his role in the alleged scam as director of finance at the now-defunct Ministry of Atolls Development.

The fraudulent purchases of harbour lights, national flags and mosque sound systems were first flagged in an audit report released in early 2009.

Following an investigation into the allegations in the report, Chief Inspector Ismail Atheef said at a press conference in August 2009 that police had uncovered evidence that implicated former Atolls Minister Abdullah Hameed along with MPs Saleem and Nazim in a number of fraudulent transactions.

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

A hard disk seized during a raid of Nazim’s office in May 2009 allegedly contained copies of forged documents and bogus letterheads.

Police maintained that money was channelled through the scam to Nazim who laundered cash through Namira Engineering and unregistered companies.

Thursday’s hearing meanwhile focused on charges that Nazim used employees of Namira Engineering while he was the company’s Managing Director to submit bids in the name of two companies called Tech Media Service Pvt Ltd and Standard Electric Works Pvt Ltd to provide 220 harbour lights to the Atolls Ministry.

Nazim allegedly received Rf1.9 million after Namira Engineering was awarded the project.

Nazim however presented as witnesses two directors of Tech Media Service and a director of Standard Electric Works to prove that both companies were aware that a bid was submitted in their names.

MP Saleem and a former employee of the Atolls Ministry, Moosa Naeem, was submitted as witnesses to establish that the ministry received the 220 harbour lights.

The prosecution meanwhile presented as evidence the police investigation report, cheques issued by the state and bogus letterheads found during a police raid on Namira Engineering in May 2009.