Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) interrogated and took statements from Mohamed Haleem, an independent candidate contesting in the upcoming parliamentary elections for Manadhoo constituency and a former Civil Court Judge, over bribery allegations.
The case accusing Haleem of distributing bribes to constituents was submitted by a private individual. Haleem was summoned to ACC in relation to the allegations.
However, ACC did not reveal any details about the investigation. Haleem stated that he was not aware of ACC's summons.
He had also received backlash during his tenure as a judge for certain sentences he issued at the time. He was in particular criticised for his ruling to bar former employees of the now defunct local media “Haveeru” and “Haveeru Online” from seeking work in other media outlets for a term of two years.
Moreover, Haleem’s statement was leaked to social media out of the many taken by Maldives Police Service during their investigation launched by a Supreme Court order issued on February 1, 2018. According to the statement, he had issued the sentence in accordance with former Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed’s writings.
According to the Elections General Act, making or offering to make a contribution to either an individual, association or the general public in order to garner support for a candidate or diminish support for an opposing candidate, from the date the election is announced until 30 days after results are published, constitutes bribery.
A special team has been designated by ACC to probe cases of bribery and corruption in the general elections. ACC stated that they would conclude the investigation into the cases prior to the elections.
ACC has also taken statements in relation to the elections from Maldivian Democratic Party's candidate for Henveiru South constituency Hussain Shameem, and Henveiru North constituency candidate contesting on Jumhooree Party's electoral ticket Alhan Fahmy.
Alhan was summoned as he had presented reward money for a special football competition held in his constituency, whereas Shameem was brought in over opening scholarships to his constituents, with five students currently sent to study in India.