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Ex-pres Maumoon snubs probe by graft watchdog

Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 February 2018, MVT 06:50
Lawyer Maumoon Hameed (C) along with the lawyers of Faris Maumoon and Mohamed Nadeem, speak at press conference regarding their clients' arrest and detention. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 February 2018, MVT 06:50

Arrested former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has refused to meet a team from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that called on him in prison for a questioning, regarding an audit report that was released towards the end of his regime.

The 2007 audit report, which was on the former presidential palace of Theemuge, revealed that Maumoon had spent state funds on close individuals. The then auditor general had advised the state to recover the money.

In a press conference held Tuesday, lawyer Maumoon Hameed of the former president's legal team revealed that ACC's investigation was in connection with an audit report released in 2007, over ten years ago. Referring to the clause in the Penal Code which states that prosecution is barred for felonies committed more than eight years before the investigation, Maumoon Hameed stated that hence the former president had declined to meet with the team.

The lawyer noted that former President Maumoon had provided a full statement for an investigation of the ACC last year July. Thus he questioned why the commission was abruptly bringing up more questions to ask his client.

Slamming the graft watchdog, lawyer Maumoon stated that the ACC had also previously "woken up" amidst political upsurges in the country, implying that the commission's additional line of questioning was prompted by former President Maumoon's arrest.

Maumoon was arrested February 5 under accusations of bribery and attempting to stage a coup, after a state of emergency was declared in connection with the Supreme Court's shocking verdict on February 1 to release political prisoners and reinstate unseated legislators.

Regarding Maumoon's case, the police had declared on Monday that they have obtained evidence of Maumoon, along with his lawmaker son Faris Maumoon and son-in-law Mohamed Nadeem, bribing the justices of the Supreme Court to bring about the alleged coup. The police also claimed to have evidence of the three attempting to bribe members of the parliament on July 24, 2017, to topple the lawfully elected government.

The police had announced that they would submit the cases of some of the suspects accused of attempting the coup to the Prosecutor General's Office within this week. However, their lawyers claimed that none of their three clients had been questioned by the police yet.

Their lawyers have raised concerns over lack of sufficient time provided to meet their clients.

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