Local leading Cable TV provider Medianet has filed a lawsuit at the Civil Court for being fined MVR 500,000 over its broadcast of the Al-Jazeera expose “Stealing Maldives”, a documentary exposing mass corruption, international money laundering and abuse of power in the Maldives.
The hefty fine was issued by Maldives Broadcasting Commission over broadcasting content deemed dangerous to national security. The commission had also ordered Medianet to release a statement of apology for broadcasting “Stealing Paradise” in addition to the fine.
Medianet’s lawsuit is currently in the Dispute Resolution Division of the Civil Court. The case would be forwarded to trial if the involved parties fail to settle the matter out of court.
Medianet has already paid the MVR 500,000 fine at the Broadcasting Commission in accordance with the Freedom of Speech and Defamation Act, which states that such fines may only be appealed after settling the payment.
The documentary spearheaded by Al-Jazeera’s investigative journalist Will Jordan lays several major accusations on President Abdulla Yameen, which the government has rebuffed. The expose focuses mainly on text messages found on jailed former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb’s mobile phone, documents, and interviews of Adheeb’s close associates. One of the major accusations in the documentary is of the government’s involvement in money laundering, while the documentary also alleges that President Yameen was behind the jail sentence of 13 years issued on convicted former President Mohamed Nasheed.
“Stealing Paradise” has won two international awards.