Home Minister Sheikh Imran Abdulla on Sunday dismissed allegations made by the former head of the anti-corruption watchdog.
In a phone interview with Sangu TV, Hassan Luthfee accused Imran of threatening to frame and arrest him on bogus charges. Imran also threatened him with physical assault, he claimed.
“That is literally how he talked to me,” he alleged.
Responding in a tweet, Imran said he was “flabbergasted” that Luthfee would think people would believe he was “stupid enough” to openly threaten or attack someone in their office or on the road.
Imran, leader of the Adhaalath Party, is currently in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and could not be reached for comment.
Luthfee resigned as president of the Anti-Corruption Commission in July after parliament moved to remove him from the post. An oversight committee initiated impeachment proceedings after it emerged that Luthfee had been cashing pay cheques despite not showing up to work for two months.
Luthfee claimed he was forced to stay away from the office and then resign due to threats.
“[Imran] called me from Aarah [the presidential retreat island] and asked me if I was reporting to work, he threatened me like that too. Even after that I was [threatened] by unknown persons. I don’t know who is behind it. But they threatened to kill me,” he alleged.
Luthfee spoke to Sangu TV after a phone conversation in which he made the same allegations was leaked online. He was heard saying that he did not plan to return to the Maldives.
The former ACC boss has been out of the country since taking a vacation in April, according to the commission. He has reportedly been residing with his family in Malaysia since then.
Luthfee is also under investigation by the police over alleged money laundering. A probe was launched after the central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit flagged suspicious transactions.
He was also named among prosecution witnesses in former president Abdulla Yameen’s money laundering trial.
Luthfee’s integrity and independence was called into question in May last year after a police statement was leaked online.
Luthfee told investigators he had warned former justice Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator “not to do anything against the government” when he heard rumours of a coup plot by the Supreme Court.
“And I told them they should know who President Yameen is,” he told the police.