A witness in the police probe into Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon’s bribery charges has retracted a statement he previously gave, claiming that he had paid bribe money to lawmakers to garner their support for the opposition’s bid to impeach the parliament speaker.
The witness who gave the statement to the police on January 13, Shiyam Ibrahim, stated that he retracted his statement due to loss of anonymity.
In a letter to Commissioner of Police Abdulla Nawaz, the witness said that he made the statement as a secret witness and was promised full anonymity and immunity for him and his family. However, the witness expressed concern after his statement was made public and refused to further testify in a court of law.
The witness had revealed in his statement that he was sent to Jumhoory Party leader Qasim Ibrahim’s Paradise Island Resort to receive a "bag" upon MP Faris’ request.
“I checked the bag and it was filled with cash notes. I called Faris and asked him if the notes needed to be counted. He told me that it need not be counted and asked me to get on the transfer back to Male,” read Shiyam’s statement.
He further stated that the bag containing the money was then delivered to Dhangethi MP Ilham Ahmed.
Shiyam had also made a second trip upon Faris’ request. This time he counted the amount in the bag which added up to over USD 1.2 million. He stated that the bag was then delivered to Machangolhi South constituency MP Abdulla Sinan. Shiyam stated that he had questioned MP Sinan about the purpose of the money, to which the latter answered that it was part of the conspiracy to overthrow the government. Shiyam said that he had expressed disappointment to MP Sinan towards their plan.
He also revealed that he was in dismay to find out former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had also been involved in the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed of the Supreme Court were arrested under the state of emergency declared by President Abdulla Yameen in February, after the top court issued its landmark ruling to free nine high-profile political prisoners.