Deputy Speaker denies dodging court summons

Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim denied allegations made at parliament this week by coalition partner Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs that the minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) MP had dodged Criminal Court summons eight times to date.

The Dhiggaru MP in March 2010 pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud the former Ministry of Atolls Development.

Appearing on Villa TV last night, Nazim explained that summons might have been cancelled on occasion when he went out of the county, but insisted that he had informed the court before overseas trips.

Nazim claimed that he had been advised by ruling party MPs as well as former Home Minister Mohamed Shihab to stay out of the country, adding that he was not hesitant to face the charges at court.

“I will face [the trial],” he said. “I will face it and prove to the public that I am innocent.”

The Deputy Speaker also claimed that while four hearings have taken place in his case, MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who faces similar charges of corruption during his time as director of finance at the Atolls Ministry, has yet to be summoned to court.