Legal Politics

Key witness retracts bribery allegation against Faris

The prosecution’s key witness in MP Faris Maumoon’s bribery trial told the court on Monday that he did not take or ask for any money to back the opposition’s bid to impeach the parliament speaker.

Testifying anonymously, the lawmaker said he signed the no-confidence motion last year at the behest of Faris’s father, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

“I was not bribed to do it. I did it because of the respect I have for Gayoom,” he said.

The witness said he lied to the police about the alleged intermediary Ahmed Shafiu offering him bribe money because he was angry that a photo of him signing the no-confidence motion was leaked on social media.

He told the judge he could not lie after swearing by Allah.

The u-turn prompted repeated appeals from defence lawyers for immediate dismissal as the case was built on the lawmaker’s allegation. But Judge Ahmed Hailam said he was sticking with the court’s previous decision to proceed to trial.

The judge also refused to accept new evidence and witness testimony from the prosecution, citing the criminal procedures law. The prosecution tried to call Shafiu to testify and submit a piece of paper with a list of MPs.

The trial is expected to resume Tuesday.

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Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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