There is enough evidence for an 800-year prison sentence against Adeeb: PG

Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem has stated there is enough evidence for a prison sentence of over 800 years against former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb for his role in the corruption scandal of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Speaking at a press conference, PG Shameem said sufficient evidence has been collected for over 150 charges against Adeeb for his role in the embezzlement of state funds through MMPRC. Noting none of the charges would require a confession statement from Adeeb for it to be proved in court, Shameem said the evidence collected against the former vice president is enough to hand him a prison sentence of 806 years. However, Shameem said the PG Office will only press all charges if Adeeb refuses to go ahead as per the agreement made between him and the PG Office to cooperate with the investigation and plead guilty for 7 charges.

PG Shameem revealed the agreement requires the PG Office to lighten the charges against Adeeb if the former vice president agrees to cooperate with the investigation into the MMPRC corruption scandal. Shameem added 7 charges were pressed against Adeeb at the Criminal Court of the Maldives as per the agreement, which requires him to confess to the crimes stated in the charges. Shameem noted it is not clear whether Adeeb wishes to go ahead with the agreement or not, adding the state can press all the remaining charges if Adeeb decides to violate the agreement.

The prosecutor general made the remarks after the Criminal Court rejected the charges pressed against Adeeb, citing the lack of sufficient credible evidence against Adeeb, as the charges are largely dependent on confession agreements signed between the defendant and the PG Office, which holds no validity in court. The former vice president has now been freed from detention following the rejection of the latest charges by the Criminal Court. He had been under house arrest until a ruling is issued regarding the charges pressed against him.

Former Vice President Adeeb had previously been sentenced to 33 years in prison, after being convicted of terrorism and corruption charges. The sentences were later overturned by the Supreme Court of the Maldives, after ruling the investigation was carried out under political influence, violating the international conventions signed by the Maldives.

Adeeb has also served a sentence of 3 months and 18 days, which was imposed for his attempt to flee the country while his passport was seized under the orders of the Supreme Court. The sentence was completed on January 3, 2020.