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High Court to police over alleged bribery in Hibalhidhoo case

Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 October 2019, MVT 16:05
high court of the republic of maldives
Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 October 2019, MVT 16:05

The High Court on Sunday filed a case at Maldives Police Service over allegations that judges of the appellate court had solicited bribes during the ownership dispute of Hibalhidhoo, Baa Atoll.

The state seized Hibalhidhoo from Business Maldives Company in November 2015 during the presidency of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, over the company reportedly failing to settle USD 3 million as acquisition cost. While Business Maldives denied the allegation and the Civil Court ruled in favour of the company, the High Court later overturned the verdict.

However, Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed recently disclosed allegations that judges of the High Court had solicited bribes in return for a verdict in Business Maldives' favour. According to the minister, the judges in question met with the company's majority shareholder Mohamed Riyaz, made phone calls asking for monetary bribes, and offered to arrange clandestine meetings overseas. While Riyaz refuted the allegation, Minister Waheed further claimed that a former minister had paid to fly judges abroad.

In a statement released following the minister's comments, the High Court stated that they requested the police to conduct a full investigation into all of the allegations.

"The judges of the High Court of Maldives will provide full cooperation in the investigation", read the statement.

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