Whistleblower Gasim’s Sentencing Postponed Amid Transparency Maldives’ Call For His Acquittal

in News/Politics by

The sentencing of Bank of Maldives former manager Gasim Abdul Kareem, who has been charged with unauthorised disclosure customer information, has been postponed amid the constant call from watchdog Transparency Maldives for his acquittal for whistle-blowing the one of the biggest corruption in the country where the money meant for state was siphoned off to private accounts.

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The hearing was canceled as the presiding judge was on leave.

Police had arrested Gasim on the charges of allegedly disclosing the bank account details of Score of Flairs (S.O.F) Private Limited – a company involved in the country’s biggest corruption scandal with Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation to Omnia Strategy- a company founded and chaired by Cherie Blair.

Gasim, who is under house arrest since the beginning of trial, has got unprecedented support of Transparency Maldives which dub him as a whistle-blower and is carrying out a campaign in his defense.

Gasim’s lawayer Nazim Sattar had also put forward his case as an act of whistle-blowing to expose the corruption.

Nazim told FocusMaldives.com,

What he did was whistleblowing which is not a crime but the state is saying that he did a criminal offence which is punishable up to six-months

Gasim was found “unbailable” by six criminal court judges in 11 remand hearings for “potential interference with witnesses and evidence” and danger of absconding”.

Here’s everything you need to know about the case

  • Gasim was arrested on February 18 and has been incarcerated in Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre for more than three months.
  • He was under detention for more than three months.
  • According to an expose by The Daily Mail, Mohamed Allam Latheef, the owner of SOF Pvt Ltd facilitated transfer of funds from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation to Omnia Strategy- founded and chaired by Cherie Blair.
  • An amount of £210,000 was transferred from MMPRC’s funds to HSBC account in London, apparently belonging to Omnia.
  • The amount was half of the total amount charged by Omnia strategy for providing six months consultancy service -in a yearlong contract- to the government on “democratic consolidation”.
  • Latheef acted as a middleman in ensuring that there is a smooth transaction between the two.
  • MMPRC, which allegedly misappropriated US$80 million from the state-owned tourism promotion agency also siphoned off US$70 million into SOF’s bank account.
  • Latheef is also a close associate of Adeeb and among the five suspects wanted in connection with the boat blast.
  • Interpol had issued red notice against him.
  • Gasim, who is pleading whistleblowing, has not been not been formally charged for any offence but his detention notice says he is accused under Penal Code Section 231, 232 and 233 for unlawful surveillance, acquisition and disclosure of information.
  • Penal Code Section 232 (b) provides an exception in the cases where an unauthorised acquisition of information is intended to expose wrongdoing.

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