Parliament’s public accounts’ committee is to investigate how information shared at a closed-door meeting was leaked.
Committee chair and Kinbidhoo constituency MP Mohamed Nashiz announced this at Wednesday’s meeting, after details from the meeting with officials from the Prosecutor General (PG) Office earlier this week were leaked.
While PG Aishath Bisham is to have disclosed details and identities of current government officials and parliament members that are being investigated in the country’s biggest corruption scandal ever at Monday’s closed-door meeting, some of these details were leaked.
At Wednesday’s meeting, MP Nashiz expressed concern over how the information was leaked and is being spread in the media.
It was Hulhudhoo constituency Ilyas Labeeb who submitted the issue to the committee on Wednesday, stressing that the committee must be able to keep information from closed-door meetings a secret.
Labeeb further proposed that the matter be investigated as per the parliament’s procedures, and added that the parliament’s credibility might be lost otherwise.
All lawmakers present at the meeting supported this proposal, and chair Nashiz announced that the matter will be submitted to the parliament’s investigatory committees.
While PG officials’ meeting with the public accounts’ committee was initially held in public, despite the PG’s request for it to be held in secret citing obstructions to investigation, it was changed to a closed-door meeting after she alleged that the committee consists of individuals being investigated in the MMPRC graft case.
On Tuesday, some media outlets published the names of some individuals that the PG had allegedly mentioned at the meeting. This includes three cabinet ministers.
Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal has since threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against Bisham, saying that a journalist had informed him that the PG had mentioned his name at the meeting.
The MMPRC case is the biggest corruption scandal in the country’s history, where MVR MVR1.4 billion (US$90 million) was funnelled from the state coffers into private accounts involving senior government officials.