PG requests Foreign Ministry to ensure Ali Waheed’s presence at UK HC

Ali Waheed, Former Minister of Tourism | Photo: Google

Malé, Maldives – The Prosecutor General has sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry, requesting to ensure whether alleged sexual offender, Ali Waheed who is currently in London, is attended his trial via the Maldivian High Commission in London or not.

Ali Waheed, who is currently in London for medical purposes, is virtually attending his trial at the Criminal Court for charges of sexual offence. The Criminal Court allowed his virtual presence via the Maldivian High Commission in London, following his request. However, the Prosecutor General raised concerns on whether Ali Waheed actually attended the High Commission for the trial.

The PG’s Office repeatedly expressed their concern over Ali Waheed’s trial, saying that prosecuting a person who is not within the reach of the Maldivian law is not started in the Penal Code.

A media official from the authority confirmed to local media Adhadhu, that the PG sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry to ensure whether Ali Waheed is attending the High Commission for the trial. He noted that the Ministry has not yet replied to the letter.

The Prosecutor General’s Office charged the suspect Ali Waheed with a total of seven counts of sexual offences at the Criminal Court of the Maldives. These being;

  • One count of sexual abuse under article 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
  • One count of attempted rape under article 15 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
  • One count of indecent exposure under article 132 of The Constitution of Maldives
  • One count of sexual harassment under article 18 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
  • One count of attempted sexual abuse under article 19 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
  • Two counts of unlawful sexual contact under article 81 and 412 of Maldives Penal Code 9/2014.

Ali Waheed fled from the country, citing a medical emergency, after his passport was released. He was initially scheduled to arrive in the Maldives in early June as his medical treatment duration of 4 months had expired. However, Waheed did not return to the country and no explanation was revealed until the Criminal Court recently informed that Ali Waheed contacted the court to inform that his medical procedure has not finished, along with valid documents supporting his statement.

Waheed was removed from office on July 9, 2020, marking the first time a cabinet minister was fired over allegations of sexual abuse to his co-workers, after he failed to tender his resignation as per the order of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

In addition to the sexual harassment case, Ali Waheed is also under investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding eight different issues which were highlighted in the compliance report published by the Auditor General’s Office, concerning expenses made by the Ministry of Tourism with regards to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, Ali Waheed has denied all the charges that have been raised against him. However, if he is found guilty of the charges levied against him, Waheed will face up to 21 years imprisonment.