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Ex-MMPRC MD Ziyath confesses to 32 charges under plea bargain

Mariyam Malsa
23 November 2020, MVT 11:39
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
23 November 2020, MVT 11:39

Former Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath, on Monday, confessed to 32 charges regarding the MMPRC corruption scandal and agreed to cooperate with the joint investigation under a plea bargain with the government.

Speaking at the appeal hearing regarding the eight-year prison sentence imposed on Ziyath over the embezzlement of state funds during the leasing of Maabinhuraa in Lhaviyani Atoll, Supreme Court judge Dr Mohamed Ibrahim revealed that the former MMPRC head had sent a letter which requested the withdrawal of his appeal case.

The judge stated that the letter was sent of Ziyath's own volition without any undue influence and that the decision against pursuing an appeal was in line with the terms of the plea bargain.

In 2016, the Criminal Court sentenced Ziyath to eight years in connection with the embezzlement of USD 5 million (MVR 77 million) owed to the state as acquisition cost for Maabinhuraa, Lhaviyani Atoll. The court also sentenced former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb to eight years and local businessman Hamid Ismail to two years, in the same case.

Adeeb also entered a confessional agreement with the state. In order to reduce his sentence, he assented to confess to the seven charges pressed against him over the MMPRC corruption scandal, which is believed to have cost the state MVR 4 billion in lost revenue.

The Criminal Court sentenced the former Vice President to 20 years in prison with an MVR 2 million fine in October.

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