The Anti-Corruption Commission has recommended an inquiry by parliament’s public accounts committee into President Abdulla Yameen’s failure to submit annual financial records as mandated by the constitution.
The watchdog decided it could not launch a probe after a complaint was filed by a member of the public, an ACC media official confirmed to the Maldives Independent.
As there was no law that specified measures for refusal to disclose assets, the Auditor General could not be suspected of corruption over the failure to take action, the ACC informed the complainant.
The constitution requires the president to annually submit to the Auditor General “a statement of all property and monies owned by him, business interests and all assets and liabilities.”
Yameen’s failure to comply was alleged by the joint opposition ahead of his heavy defeat in September’s election.
The president’s spokesman Ibrahim Muaz Ali denied the allegations at the time.
But Auditor General Hassan Ziyath confirmed to the ACC that Yameen has not submitted financial records after 2013.
On Wednesday, the president’s office said Yameen has been allowed to submit the pending statements before his term ends on November 17.
“The auditor general sent a letter to the president’s office two or three days ago allowing president Yameen to submit financial records, including the one for his last presidential year, before the end of the term,” Muaz tweeted.
“We want to note that there are other former presidents who failed to submit financial records and had not been held accountable. All matters regarding President Yameen’s financial records are being carried out under the advice of the auditor general.”
Yameen has been dogged by allegations of corruption since the unprecedented theft of nearly US$80 million from state coffers was exposed in a damning special audit in February 2016.
Last November, the ACC confirmed longstanding allegations that a local company implicated in the corruption scandal deposited US$1 million into Yameen’s private account at the Maldives Islamic Bank.
Yameen denies any involvement in the scandal, pinning the blame on his jailed former deputy.
Despite the constitutional requirement, neither the president nor the majority of lawmakers have made information about their personal finances available to the public.