Male’ mayor acquitted in false statement case

The Mayor of Male' City Dr Mohamed Muizzu. (Photo/Male' City Council)

The Criminal Court has acquitted Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu in the case against him for allegedly providing a false statement.

The former housing minister was charged with providing a false statement, in response to a statement he gave on June 25, 2019, as a witness for Noomadi Resorts and Residence AG (Noomadi) in the arbitration case filed by the company against the State of Maldives at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Judge Saffath Habeeb said on Thursday that the prosecution failed to prove the signature on the statement in question was Muizzu’s, and there were therefore no grounds to establish the statement was made by him.

The judge also found that while the prosecution claimed the Noomadi project hadn’t gone according to schedule, they hadn’t submitted the schedule in question.

The judge therefore found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove the charge against him.

The case against Muizzu was filed with the court on June 14, 2020. The judge who was originally assigned the case was transferred to another court, while his replacement later recused himself.

According to the charge against him, Muizzu had provided a false statement claiming Noomadi had implemented the housing project under the phase I agreement signed in 2011 and the phase II agreement signed in 2013 as scheduled and without any delays, and claiming he hadn’t been involved in discussions regarding repossessing Lh. Dhiffushimaadhoo, which had been leased to Noomadi to develop luxury villas.