PG: ACC investigation showed misconduct, not corruption

PG Hussain Shameem.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has said that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation into the ventilator scandal had shown misconduct but no evidence of corruption. 

The PG Office moved against bringing forth charges in the case after the ACC requested charges against 11 ministry officials including Minister Abdulla Ameen. 

In a press conference regarding the move, PG Hussain Shameem said that decision was due to a lack of evidence regarding corruption activities which the ACC had not found in its investigation. 

The investigation did, however, show administrative errors and misconduct in performance which were not sufficient for any charges. 

“It is true, a very low standard of work may have been done. Misconduct regarding work administratively may have also been conducted. Reasons to believe that the entire activity could have been conducted better administratively is there.” Said PG Shameem who added that it was being seen whether there were any criminal legal actions to be taken. 

PG Shameem also revealed the reasons why charges were not brought against specific individuals requested by the ACC.  

He said that the Minister could not be charged for bringing forward information about a specific company and that the bid committee need not follow the instructions of the Minister even if the Minister encouraged a specific company to be chosen. 

“We cannot see whether the bid was awarded upon the suggestion of the Minister.” Said PG Shameem. 

Minister Ameen had instructed certain officials on the bid committee who were not attending meetings, to attend meetings and had even asked for updates on the process frequently. Allegations that the acts by the Minister was for the obtainment of unfair advantages to a specific individual were rejected by the PG who said that it was part of the responsibility of the Minister.

PG Shameem said that the ACC had noted from its investigation that deposits of payments to companies or figures connected with the companies had been made when looking into the bank statements to see whether any suspect had received financial benefits. If the deposits were there, it could be an important piece of evidence in proving corruption if there were any such acts. 

PG Shameem did not respond to a question of whether the ACC investigation was carried out correctly. PG Shameem said that the ACC would only send the case after it believed that the investigation was concluded. 

PG Shameem also refuted that the decision against charges were due to political pressure.

ACC has since stated that a review into the case would be conducted along with the police.