Lawyer Mahfooz Saeed has urged the finance ministry to “follow due process” and send its letter regarding the leasing of Nasadhura Palace Hotel directly to his client, the jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb.
Finance Ministry sent a letter asking Adheeb to pay an amount of MVR 74 million to the state on March 29. He is to pay the amount within a period of seven days over the lease graft of Nasandhura to NPH Investment Pvt Ltd, for development.
The letter stated that during his term as tourism minister, Adheeb had leased Nasandhura to NPH Investment Pvt Ltd for a period of 50 years, exempting the company from the fees the owed to the state. This was done instead of extending the plot lease with Galaxy Enterprises, the company Nasandhura was given to, initially.
Adheeb is currently serving a 33-years jail sentence for his involvement in the largest corruption scandal in Maldives' recent history and also for the assassination attempt on President Abdulla Yameen. He currently has ongoing trails for official misconduct and graft allegations. Hence, his lawyer said that even if the letter was sent to H.Saamaraa, it would not reach Adheeb, who is currently in Maafushi Prison.
Mahfooz said that letter to those who are detained should be addressed to Maldives Correctional Services. He added that a response to the finance ministry’s letter would be given when it is addressed correctly.