PGO drops appeal over ex-minister’s acquittal in corruption case

Dr. Ahmed Ziyad Bagir. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has decided against pursuing the appeal of an acquittal issued to former Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Ziyad Bagir in a corruption case.

The PGO withdrew the appeal it lodged with the High Court on Tuesday.

Ziyad and former Head of Endowment at Islamic Ministry Ibrahim Abdulla Saeed were charged with misuse of official authority in connection to a contract awarded by the Islamic Ministry to SJ Construction to build Zikra Mosque.

An investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) found the contract had been unfavorable to the state, and conferred unfair advantages to SJ Construction.

However, both Ziyad and Ibrahim – who the ACC found had a connection with SJ Construction that posed a conflict of interest - were cleared by the Criminal Court in 2021.

The PGO appealed the decision with the High Court in 2022.

But on Tuesday, the PGO decided after a review that it did not wish to appeal the original ruling, and informed the court of its decision.

The court has therefore dismissed the petition.

In 2021, the Criminal Court cleared Ziyad and Saeed of wrongdoing after it found that testimony from two witnesses proved the Islamic Ministry had attempted to rectify the mistake the moment they noticed the number of floors were written wrong on the contract, and the state failed to present any evidence it had been deliberate, and not a clerical error.