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Two lawmakers, two bribery cases, but only one arrest?

Aishath Mihna Nasih
09 April 2017, MVT 12:56
Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (L) speaks to reporters while Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim looks on. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Aishath Mihna Nasih
09 April 2017, MVT 12:56

Former President and ousted leader of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Maumoon Abdul Gayoom raised questions over what actions have been taken by the government against a parliamentarian who had confessed to bribing lawmakers with money, amidst the current political upheaval surrounding the arrest of Jumhoory Party's leader Qasim Ibrahim who is under the same accusation.

In a tweet posted by Maumoon late Saturday, he questioned Maldives Police Service and the Attorney General on what actions they took against said lawmaker, who confessed to the bribery in a parliament sitting, while pointing out that Qasim Ibrahim was arrested under the same charges but without proof. He called on the authorities to accord justice.

Maumoon did not mention the name of the lawmaker, but member of Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and Hoarafushi MP Mohamed Ismail had admitted to "carrying a sack of money among lawmakers" during a parliament sitting. In a heated debate over the embezzlement scandal of the Maldives' main tourism promotion body, MP Mohamed Ismail had stood up and confessed that he was the one who went to distribute the bribery money.

Regarding the matter, the Anti-Corruption Commission had launched an interrogation last August.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court has added six days to the remand of JP leader and the lawmaker of Maamigili Constituency Qasim Ibrahim over alleged bribery and plotting against the government.

Protests have been ongoing at Maamigili, the birth island of Qasim, over his arrest.

The accusations against Qasim Ibrahim listed in the court order include bribery attempt to turn the parliament’s vote of no confidence against the speaker in Qasim’s favour, and working to influence the motion of no confidence currently being sought against the deputy parliamentary speaker. In addition, the order included attempt to influence the armed forces of the nation and working to illicitly overturn the lawfully elected government of the Maldives.

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