Attorney General Aishath Azima Shakoor revealed yesterday that invoices amounting to USD10 million have been received from Grant Thornton for consultation services rendered to former President Mohamed Nasheed's administration.
During a press conference held yesterday Azima said that Nasheed’s government had sought the services of Grant Thornton between 2010 and 2011 to assist in the probe into the alleged corruption during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s tenure.
AG added that the organizations would only handover the final report of consultation provided once the government makes the payment.
Government spending vast amounts of finances on outside consultation during Nasheed’s tenure has surfaced after similar services obtained by the present government had been reported by the media.
Following the placement of Maldives in the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) government had hired ex-Attorney General of the UK Baroness Scotland to provide legal expertise for GBP7,500 per day.
Speaking during the press conference yesterday, Azima had admitted that Baroness Scotland had in fact been hired. She added that the Baroness had spent two weeks in the Maldives and had been paid a total of GBP75,000 for four days of legal expertise.
Attorney General stressed that the government had sought expertise from various outside sources in relation to past events in the country. To that end, in addition to the Air Maldives issue, Singapore lawyers have been hired after Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) GMR, India had filed a case against the Maldives government and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) at Singapore’s Arbitration Court, she explained.
“The same principle applied to Baroness Scotland. We believe that CMAG had included us in the agenda in violation of its procedures. Also when Commonwealth was calling for an early election in the Maldives, we had to carry out an assessment of the situation in the Maldives as the Commonwealth had failed to do the same,” Azima detailed.