Shameem: PGO has no role in commuting or pardoning sentences

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem listens to questions by reporters at a press conference on August 3, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has said that the Prosecutor General has no role in any of the stages of pardoning or shortening of sentences as per the Clemency Act.

Prosecutor Shameem's remarks come as President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has pardoned former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and Abdullah Ziyath, who were convicted of taking part in the MMPRC scam. The President also commuted the sentence of the boy who is serving an 18-year prison sentence for the brutal murder of Mohamed Anas of Fenfiyaazge, R Meedhoo.

In a post on his blog, PG Shameem said that there is no representative of the Prosecutor General on the Clemency Board. After a verdict is made in a case, the PG office has no role in the verdict, he said.

"Whether the person is serving his sentence in jail or at home is not a matter for the PG office. It is done by the Maldives Correctional Service. The service will be able to answer any questions regarding that,” Shameem said.

Shameem said that the opinion of the PG had not been sought on the recent pardon issued by President Solih. And he doesn’t even have to get it.

As the legal system stands, the President has wide powers under the Amnesty and Commutation Act and it is not within the scope of the Prosecutor General to question the use of those powers, he said.

Shameem said that when the Parliament passed the Clemency Act, it should be seen that the Act was written to achieve some important purpose knowing that there would be a Prosecutor General and he would have no role.

“A law is not written on a whim. It should not be assumed that somethings may have forgotten things when the law is written,” he said.

A solution to the public discontent in this regard can be brought by the Parliament. There is no doubt that the Parliament will amend the laws in accordance with public opinion.”

President Solih came to power with a promise to recover the money and bring justice to the MMPRC scam but failed to fulfill that promise and pardoned Adeeb and Ziyath who were in charge of the scam at the last minute, which has directed many people’s ire at the President.