Speaker Nasheed denies receiving embezzled funds

Parliament Speaker, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed. (File Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Parliament Speaker, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, on Thursday, defended himself, stating that he has not received funds embezzled from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

The denial by Nasheed, the longtime leader of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the main ruling party, follows remarks by former Maldivian Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor at a Criminal Court hearing on Wednesday, during which he pled guilty to seven charges pressed against him in connection to the MMPRC embezzlement and money laundering scandal.

“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,” said Adeeb, in a statement after he entered his plea.

Nasheed responded to the remark in a tweet on Thursday.

“I repeat, I have not received MMPRC funds,” he said.

Adeeb told Criminal Court on Wednesday that the corruption had been an organized scheme run by the previous government, and that many had receive funds in various ways under the scheme.

He said that the embezzled funds were used to influence independent institutions, the judiciary, and the parliament.

Other political parties in the ruling coalition, Jumhoory Party (JP) and Adhaalath Party (AP) have also denied receiving embezzled funds.

Adeeb faces 20 years in prison for the charges under a plea deal struck between him and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

However, he has 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.