Criminal Court rules in favor of ex-Islamic Minister in corruption case

Former Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Ziyadh Bagir speaks at a press conference held by the Ministry after awarding of Zikra Mosque Project to SJ Constructions. (Sun Photo)

Criminal Court has ruled in favor of former Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Ziyadh Bagir in the corruption case raised against him in the awarding of a mosque construction project.

Dr. Ziyadh was charged after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had concluded after an investigation that the agreement which was made between the Ministry and SJ Construction regarding the construction of Zikra Mosque included matters which opens gateways for corruption.

In addition to Dr. Ziyadh – former Head of Endowment at Islamic Ministry Ibrahim Abdulla Saeed was also charged over the case.

Concluding their investigation – ACC said that the agreement with SJ Construction in the project was unfavorable to the state and brought unfair advantages to the company. The agreement for the project was also against the proposal which also meant that losses were incurred by the state. 

ACC’s investigation also found that Ibrahim Abdulla Saeed and SJ Construction had a connection that dictates a conflict of interest.

The state prosecutors had also raised the same points ACC had noted in their investigation during the trial.

Criminal Court had ruled today that the charges against Dr. Ziyadh as well as Ibrahim Abdulla Saeed were not proven during trial.

Denying the charges against him at Court – Dr. Ziyadh said that the agreement reading additional floors for SJ Construction than what was stipulated in the initial proposal was an administrative mistake.

Judge Mohamed Misbaah who presided over the case stated in the judgment that when the Ministry had noticed the mistake in the agreement pertaining to the number of floors – they had tried to rectify the mistake which can be proven by statements of two witnesses. He also added that the state had failed to present any evidence which could indicate that the mistake was made on purpose.