Former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, on Wednesday, said he has repented to God, and apologized to the Maldivian people for his part in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) embezzlement and money laundering scandal.
At his arraignment hearing at the Criminal Court on Wednesday afternoon, Adeeb pled guilty to all seven charges pressed against him by the state in connection to the case.
In a statement after entering his plea, Adeeb said that the state would not have had access to information regarding the corruption if he had not cooperated, and said he believed it to be his patriotic duty to share the information.
Adeeb said he wished for a just verdict based on his cooperation.
“I was remorseful over this during my time in prison. I repented to God over this during my time in prison, and I apologize to the Maldivian people and the state,” he said.
It marks his first public apology over the case.
Adeeb said that he believes the government will be successful in efforts to recover the embezzled funds, and that he has, and will continue to provide his full cooperation for the investigation.
“The funds will be recovered through the ongoing efforts of the commissions established by this government, ACC, PG, and the police,” he said.
Adeeb said that the corruption should not have taken place, and that it is important that the system be redesigned to prevent such corruption from taking place again.
Adeeb also said that many had benefited from the embezzled funds.
“The money financed through this scheme was spent politically on independent institutions at the time, the judiciary at the time, the parliament at the time, [and] many more. This case involves a lot of people, this case involves many beneficiaries. There isn’t a single political party that hasn’t benefited from this case. And this money was used in votes taken at the parliament and on everything,” he said.
Adeeb accused former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of being the ringleader behind the corruption, and said that MMPRC had leased islands under the direct instructions of the President’s Office.
“This was run under a precisely planned, organized scam by the previous government with the involvement of many,” he said.
Adeeb said that he has already spent four to five years in prison on various convictions in connections to the case, and has developed major health complications during that time.
He faces 20 years in prison for the charges under the plea deal.
However, Adeeb asked for leniency in sentencing in light of his show of remorse and his cooperation, and asked additional time to renegotiate a lesser sentence with the state.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 5.