Ex-president Yameen challenges govt. to release 'uncensored list' of MMPRC beneficiaries

Opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom speaks at an event. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom states the people have the right to see an uncensored list of everyone who was involved in the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) corruption and money laundering scandal.

In an interview to local online news outlet “Voice”, Yameen said he found the reason why the full list of people involved in the corruption wasn’t available to the public deeply concerning.

He said that each list which had been released to the public by the authorities was different.

“During the recent race for MDP chair, they quarreled about this among themselves. The people need to at least see a reflective list or an authentic list. Why isn’t this happening?” he asked.

Yameen said the people would know whether the corruption had involved more politicians from PPM or MDP if the list was released.

He said that the current administration wouldn’t find it an easy task.

Yameen said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih himself was linked to the MMPRC corruption, and it was questionable why no one was talking about it.

He said that government institutions and other institutions with the authority to investigate the case were incapable of it.

“The prosecutor general is incapable of this. It’s the responsibility of the police commissioner to take the initiative and investigate such cases,” he said.

Yameen said that the failure to conduct a full and fair investigation into the MMPRC case begged the question as to whether there was any justice in Maldives.

“There are no investigations into major corruption. Its not my problem if they are unable to leave me alone and keep sticking various charges on me. I face many small difficulties. But I don’t care,” he said.

Yameen described the charges against him as a political ploy designed to stop him from running in the 2023 presidential elections.

Yameen was found guilty of laundering USD 1 million from the sale of GA. Vodamula by the Criminal Court on November 28, 2019.  He was sentenced to five years in prison and fined USD 5 million. Yameen promptly appealed the conviction with the High Court, which sided against him and ruled to uphold the original sentence.

He subsequently appealed the conviction with the Supreme Court, which acquitted him on November 30, 2021.

Yameen is currently on trial for money laundering and bribery charges in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for tourism development.