The recent granting of presidential pardons to former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and ex-Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations (MMPRC), Abdulla Ziyath, has sparked intense controversy and widespread criticism. The Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) confirmed to PSM News that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih utilized his authority to grant amnesty and commutation, resulting in the release of both individuals.
President Solih’s decision, made just three days before the conclusion of his term, raises significant questions about the motivations behind such pardons. The president holds the discretionary power to pardon or commute offenses, with conditions determined at his discretion, as stipulated by the law.
Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2020 for his involvement in the MMPRC embezzlement and money laundering scandal, had been under house arrest due to health concerns. Similarly, Abdulla Ziyath, who received a total sentence of 31 years, was transferred to house arrest in 2019.
The timing and rationale behind these pardons, especially considering the gravity of the charges involved, have fueled public dissatisfaction and concern. Critics argue that the lack of transparency surrounding the decision erodes public trust in the justice system and raises questions about potential political motivations.
The controversial nature of these pardons underscores the need for clarity and accountability in the exercise of presidential powers, particularly when it comes to individuals implicated in serious criminal offenses.