Crime Legal Money Laundering

Ziyath: AG Anil advised me to do as President Yameen ordered

The former Managing Director of MMPRC Abdulla Ziyath who headed the company during the corruption scandal has said that he was advised to carry on doing as President Yameen told, by the then-Attorney General Mohamed Anil.

Ziyath made the statement on Thursday, testifying against the former President Abdulla Yameen who is on trial for money laundering. Speaking as a state witness against President Yameen, Ziyath said that mainly ex-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb would give him orders on what to do with the money gained by leasing islands and lagoons through MMPRC. However, he also said that he sometimes had to deal and communicate with President Yameen.

“I was told to give the payments gained from leasing islands and lagoons to Vice President Adeeb by President Yameen who told me so at a meeting and even texted me,” said Ziyath.

Ziyath was questioned directly by President Yameen after the state concluded questions and was asked whether any of his orders were received via writing. Ziyath was also asked whether he had sought the advice of the then-Attorney General Mohamed Anil before following the said orders of the president.

Yameen: “Did you ask the attorney general for advice?”

Ziyath: “Yes, I did.”

Yameen: “Did you get the advice from the Auditor General?”

Ziyath: “No, I did not.”

Yameen: “What did the Attorney General have to say when you told him you were breaking the law on the orders of the president?”

Ziyath: “The Attorney General told me that it is something being done on the orders of the president and to keep doing so.”

President Yameen then asked the witness whether he had received this advice from the Attorney General by writing, to which Ziyath responded by saying that he had received the advice orally at a meeting. Yameen also questioned if Ziyath had sought the advice of the Prosecutor General since looting state coffers is a criminal offence, to which Ziyath replied that he had not.

The testimony given by Ziyath to the Anti-Corruption Commission had revealed that ex-VP Ahmed Adeeb and then-Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee and then-Attorney General Anil had fingerprint access to Ziyath’s office at MMPRC. This was the next line of questioning by Yameen at the trial.

Former Attorney General Anil did not respond to calls for a response to these revelations in court yesterday.

Yesterday’s trial saw Ziyath admit that he knew the fact that the money gained from leasing islands and lagoons were being deposited to accounts other than the account of MMPRC. He also reiterated that everything regarding the corruption scandal was carried out on the order of President Yameen.

Ziyath is currently undergoing an eight-year sentence regarding the corruption scandal of MMPRC. He is currently being held under house arrest.

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