Jailed former Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Abdulla Ziyath signed a plea deal on Monday, confessing to 32 charges related to the biggest corruption scandal in the country’s history.
Ziyath was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2016, over his involvement in the embezzlement of USD five million that was paid to the state as an acquisition cost for Maabinhura Island in Lhaviyani Atoll, through MMPRC. While the High Court upheld his conviction in November 2018, he later lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court.
At an appeal hearing held on Monday, prosecutors informed the court that the former MMPRC MD has signed a plea bargain agreeing to cooperate with the investigations into the corruption.
The state attorney said that the deal was reached after Ziyath sent a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office, guaranteeing cooperation in the investigations.
Noting that Ziyath had informed them he had no interest in continuing the Maabinhuraa case separately, the state attorney revealed that the 32 charges in the plea deal include this case as well.
He has since withdrawn the appeal case from the Supreme Court.
Confirming this at court on Monday, the former MMPRC MD assured that he made the decision to surrender his right to appeal on his own, without any influence.
Ziyath was arrested in 2015.