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Criminal Court sentences ex-MMPRC head to 11 years in prison

Mariyam Malsa
07 December 2020, MVT 14:37
Former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath testifying against former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in 2019.
Mariyam Malsa
07 December 2020, MVT 14:37

The Criminal Court, on Monday, sentenced former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath to 11 years of imprisonment.

On November 23, Ziyath confessed to a total of 32 corruption charges regarding the MMPRC embezzlement scandal under a plea bargain with the government.

The former Managing Director alone is accused of being involved in the embezzlement of USD 50.7 million (MVR 781 million) of the total potential revenue loss of the graft, which stands at MVR 4 billion.

The Penal Code also states that, in the sentencing of a convict with more than one charge, the most serious crime will receive the longest possible sentence while the penalties for the remaining offences would be reduced in a particular order.

As per Article 1006 of the Penal Code, Ziyath’s 12th charge carries a one day sentence and he will not receive any punishment for the 20 charges following it.

Ziyath is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of a corruption charge in 2016.

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb also accepted all the charges raised against him under a confessional agreement with the state. The Criminal Court sentenced Adeeb to 20 years in prison as well as a fine of MVR 2 million.

The largest corruption case recorded in Maldives' history, the MMPRC scandal, involved the embezzlement of MVR 4 billion in state funds, which were acquired through leasing islands and lagoons for tourism development and siphoned by private company, SOF Pvt Ltd.

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