There are staggeringly low conviction rates for corruption-related crimes in the Maldives, a new reported has revealed.
The report, from NGO Transparency Maldives, said only one corruption-related case reached conviction between 2010 and 2014 despite 175 cases being submitted for prosecution by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The single conviction refers to the sentencing of Kaashidhoo MP Ismail Abdul Hameed in 2011.
He was banished for 18 months for abusing his position as waste management director at the Malé Municipality.
The assessment covered events within a reporting period of two years – July 2014 to July 2016, but conviction data was only available for before 2014.
The NGO was unable to explain why there was no information on convictions for the reporting period.
Transparency Maldives said the low conviction rate resulted from a lack of coordination between the ACC and the Prosecutor General’s office.
“The ACC is neither informed nor invited when Prosecutor General’s Office attends court hearings on cases forwarded by the Commission, which is unfortunate considering that the presence of ACC investigators familiar with the relevant cases could potentially expedite corruption cases.”
Transparency Maldives was also critical of parliament, saying on Twitter it had failed to carry out its oversight function and that practical oversight of the ACC was “non-existent”.
Anti-corruption watchdogs in Bangladesh and Bhutan were rated higher than the one in the Maldives, which got an overall score of 58.