Transparency: Adeeb and Ziyath pardoned by abusing power

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/MDP)

Transparency Maldives has strongly condemned President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s decision to pardon 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.

In a statement on Monday, Transparency Maldives described granting pardon to Adeeb and Ziyath just four days before his term is set to expire as not only an abuse of clemency and the clemency and sentence commutation powers of the president, but also a representation of the epitome of the protection, impunity and privilege enjoyed by political elite who abuse their positions of power and influence.

The statement also stressed that since President Solih assumed office in 2018, pledging zero tolerance for corruption, only three individuals out of the 281 individuals implicated in the MMPRC grand corruption scandal, including former and incumbent state officials, judges and parliamentarians have been convicted over the past five years.

They also stressed that no efforts had been made to cover the islands or obtain a fair acquisition value, while the Commission on Corruption and State Asset Recovery’s report detailing the loss of funds has also never been published.

In addition to this, Transparency Maldives said there e have been no significant efforts to address key systemic gaps within the laws, regulations and practices that facilitated and protected the MMPRC grand corruption.

On the contrary, they said what was constantly witnessed over the past five years was corruption being green-lit, and those implicated in corrupt activities being protected.

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 a total of 31 years in prison. He was transferred to home confinement in 2019.