Adeeb and Ziyath freed after presidential pardon

Then-Vice President Ahmed Adheeb (L) and then-Managing Director at Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Abdulla Ziyath during a press conference. (Sun File Photo / Ali Naseer)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has granted presidential pardon to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor and former Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) Managing Director Abdulla Ziyath – both of whom had been convicted in connection to the MMPRC graft scandal.

A spokesperson from Maldives Correctional Service told Sun that they received the presidential pardon on Monday.

The decision comes with just four days until President Solih’s presidential term expires.  His spokesperson, Mohamed Miuvaan was not immediately available for comment regarding the decision.

Adeeb and Ziyath had pled guilty to the corruption charges against them under a plea deal with the state.

They later appeared as key state witnesses in the court cases against former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Adeeb was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the case in October 2020.

But despite the prison sentence, Adeeb had been under home confinement since 2020, based on medical grounds.

Meanwhile, Ziyath was sentenced to total 31 years in prison. He was transferred to home confinement in 2019.

Meanwhile, Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison on money laundering and bribery charges in connection to the MMPRC scandal on December 26, 2022. Though President Solih used his executive powers to transfer him to home arrest following his election defeat to President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, he remains a convict.

His conviction is being appealed at the High Court.

The MMPRC graft scandal – which involves the embezzlement of millions of US dollars in the sale of islands and lagoons leased for tourism – had hit international headlines, and had been the subject of an Al Jazeera documentary.