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Police summon opposition lawmaker over bribery accusations

Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 April 2017, MVT 17:48
Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon speaks to reporters. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 April 2017, MVT 17:48

Police on Monday summoned lawmaker of Dhiggaru constituency Faris Maumoon, accusing him of bribing and influencing parliamentarians to gain votes for the motion of no confidence that was sought against Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh on March 27.

Police have also arrested the lawmaker of Maamigili constituency and leader of opposition Jumhoory Party, Qasim Ibrahim, last Thursday night on the same charges. His trial at the Criminal Court is currently underway.

Speaking to reporters after theinterrogation, MP Faris denied the charges against him and declared that he has not violated the law in anyway. He added that he had remained silent as Police had questioned him regarding an issue he was not aware of.

Remarking that some people appear to believe that lawmakers’ votes cannot be gained without bribery and intimidation, MP Faris proclaimed that on the contrary, the opposition coalition is working to earn votes by talking reasonably with lawmakers regarding their points of view. He wryly added that speaking to parliamentarians is not considered a violation of the Constitution.

“I repeatedly asked the officers to prove that this investigation is lawful and that they have enough information [evidence] to build these accusations against me. But they did neither of these things,” said the lawmaker son of Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

MP Faris declared that the accusations currently raised against lawmakers of the opposition are politically motivated intimidation, and once more called on the government to halt such actions.

MP Faris is the top representative of Former President Maumoon in the opposition coalition which has launched a movement to reform the nation. Another case against MP Faris has been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office while the state has pressed three charges against MP Qasim Ibrahim. Furthermore, MP Qasim’s deputy of Jumhoory Party, Kinbidhoo MP Abdulla Riyaz, is also undergoing a trial in the Criminal Court.

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