ACC requests charges against ex-Chief of Defense Force Shiyam

Former Chief of Defense Force Major General (Retired) Ahmed Shiyam. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has requested the Prosecutor General’s Office for charges against former Chief of Defense Force Major General (Retired) Ahmed Shiyam.

In a statement on Wednesday, ACC announced that the commission filed an official request with the Prosecutor General’s Office for charges against Shiyam following the completion of the investigation into the case involving his father being accommodated at a Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Maritime Rescue Coordination Center located in Vilimale’ from 2017 to 2018.

ACC has requested for Shiyam to be charged with the offense of a government employee using influence of position to gain or confer an undue advantage under Article 12 (a) of Prevention and Prohibition of Corruption Act, and misuse of official authority to confer an undue advantage to another person for which he/she is not entitled to under Section 513 (b) of the Penal Code.

According to ACC, Shiyam’s father resided at the VIP building at the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center from July 18, 2017 to December 11, 2018.

ACC said that while there aren’t explicit regulations for accommodation at the building, the building cannot be used to accommodate civilians. The commission also said that due to lack of laws, regulations or policies permitting the accommodation of Shiyam’s father at a MNDF center, he did not have any right to reside at the building in question.

“Given that the VIP house too, is used to provide temporary accommodation to special individuals for the different needs of the military and who come to provide military services, the existence of a longstanding culture within a state institution of high-ranking officials at facilities run at state expense of personal use of such facilities and resources at such facilities does not permit for the specific act or permit corruption,” said the ACC in their statement.

ACC also said that a former MNDF officer resided at the VIP building to look after Shiyam’s father, and allowing Shiyam’s father access to the resources and services at the building led to him receiving benefits to which he was not entitled to.

ACC said that a military officer cannot be assigned to look after a civilian at the instructions of a high-ranking military official, unless it is to provide services to a civilian to fulfil duties and responsibilities of military officers declared under the Armed Forces Act.

ACC had previously filed the case, concluding that it did not involve corruption. The case was reopened at the instructions of Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem.