PG defend decision in Dhuvaafaru corruption case: prioritized compassion

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem speaks at a press conference on August 3, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said that a negative legal outcome will not arise from the decision to form caution agreements with those involved in the Dhuvaafaru council corruption case, rather than pressing charges.

After concluding investigations into 12 evidences in the case, when the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) forwarded its findings to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), they formed caution agreements under Article 97 of the Penal Code instead of pressing charges.

PGO has been the target of criticism from some over this decision.

In a post shared on his blog, PG Shameen addressed this, and said that the law dictates two lists that state the requirements on formulating caution agreements instead of pressing charges in accordance with the best outcome.

While making such an agreement is a choice available to PGO, it can only be done for crimes that do not warrant an imprisonment longer than a year.

According to Shameem, of the 13 things in the lists that urge pressing charges, only three are met. He addded that on the contrary, the case meets all the requirements of making a caution agreement.

“Truthfully, there is no loss from the crime. There is no criminal record for those who committed the crimes. There are no other criminal charges pressed an ongoing against them. Looking at the ages of those who committed the crimes, they are not too young. Every single one of those who committed the crimes are looking after a family in a responsible manner. True, they handled the money illegally. However, all the lost funds have been paid back. Investigations to not indicate that any the state lost any money.”

The corruption case came to light last year, when a special report prepared by the Local Government Authority (LGA) showed over MVR 2 million in suspicious transfers to the personal bank accounts of some of the councilors and staff members of the council from the budget.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), following their probe of the case, requested charges against eight individuals including some of the councilors and staff members back in March.

The eight individuals involved in the case are;

  • Council President Hassan Hakeem
  • Council Vice President Izmeel Ahmed
  • Former Councilor Ahmed Samhooh
  • Councilor Mohamed Shaam
  • Councilor Zuhudha Adam
  • Councilor Aminath Solah
  • Secretary General Mohamed Nasir
  • Former Assistant Director Mohamed Ali Fulhu

When Dhuvaafaru Council corruption case was submitted to ACC in July last year – a team of the commission visited the island to gather information for the investigations. They completed the investigation and forwarded the case for duty prosecution two months later. The case was resent to the PG Office in March after making the amendments instructed by the office during the duty prosecution process.