MPL justifies massive legal fees in tug boat dispute

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Saturday defended the MVR2.9 million paid to a law firm owned by a government lawmaker to settle a dispute with a local firm in a contract to secure a tug boat.

Guraidhoo MP Ibrahim Riza's law firm was paid the sum as 'professional charges' to represent MPL in the dispute with Centre Enterprises, according to a leaked invoice.

MPL CEO Mohamed Junaid however, denied any wrongdoing insisting that the complicated lawsuit required the expertise of an experienced legal team.

Junaid also stressed that the agreement made with Riza's law firm was sanctioned by the MPL board under pre-approved guidelines.

"There are many issues surrounding the Center Enterprises case. If you look at it that way, spending even MVR10 million does not seem like an issue," Junaid insisted.