Malé, Maldives – MP of Mathiveri constituency Hassan Zareer – who secured the Parliamentary seat on a ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ticket – has suggested during Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee meeting, that the victims of former Tourism Minister and alleged sexual predator, Ali Waheed’s sexual harassment may have lied and baselessly accused him as part of a political scheme.
During the Parliamentary Judiciary Committee’s meeting today, which discussed the circumstances of Ali Waheed’s passport being released, MP Zareer started off accusing the media of spinning Ali Waheed’s sexual harassment accusations – which ultimately lead to his removal from office – in a wrong narrative, before continuing with his remarks.
He went on the state that the accusations against Ali Waheed are politically tainted, and that the committee must look into the case in more detail and consider the entire nature of the case before deciding upon it.
Another point I want to highlight is that there are seven charges. That of attempting to touch, the possibility of touching, chasing after [a victim] and the possibility of chasing [after a victim] even. So generally I believe the accusations may be politically motivated.Hassan Zareer, MP of Mathiveri constituency
He added that if such accusations were made by framing him, then it is a serious issue an that “such [accusations] have been made in the past with the intention of deceiving someone.”
While this is the first time a political figure has spoken in defense of Ali Waheed in such a public forum, Zareer’s remarks carried on to suggest that the victims may have lied.
He referred to a statement by one of the victims and stated that as Police did not find any DNA evidence to support the claims of the victim, it is best to consider entire issue in more detail before coming to a decision.
Ali Waheed, who has flown to Turkey after the Criminal Court of Maldives released his passport for medical reasons, faces 13 charges of sexual nature, including attempted rape. Ali Waheed was removed from office as the Tourism Minister of Maldives by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, after his victims who were his employees as the time, came forward with the accusations.