Concerns mount over Maldives govt move to 'legalize' corruption

The proposed ruling party move to remove the bribery clause in Maldives penal code has sparked concern from the country's opposition, religious scholars and legal experts.

The amendment was proposed by ruling party lawmaker Ibrahim Didi seeking to remove section 510 in the penal code which declares offering and accepting bribery for government and state officials as a crime.

The amendment has since been reviewed by the parliamentary national security committee and is expected to be put a vote during the next sitting.

A prominent lawyer on condition of anonymity told AVAS that the amendment would effectively "legalize" corruption and prevent authorities from punishing corrupt government and state officials.

"I'm truly shocked by this amendment. We keep hearing rumours and accusations about judges, parliament members and top government officials being bribed. So this move prevents authorities from putting an end to it," the lawyer explained.