PG asks High Court to review decision rejecting Ali Waheed’s passport appeal

Ali Waheed, charged with 7 counts of sexual offences | Photo: Limkokwing University

Malé, Maldives – The Prosecutor General’s Office on Thursday, requested the High Court to review their decision as they have decided not to accept the appeal from PGO regarding the confiscation of Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed who is currently accused of sexual abuse.

Ali Waheed left the country after his passport was released due to a medical emergency. Though he was initially scheduled to return in early June as his medical treatment duration of 4 months had expired, he did not return. 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.

Maldives Police Service on 23rd June, requested the Criminal Court to release a court order for the confiscation of Ali Waheed’s passport. However, after almost a week later, Judge Hassan Saeed decided against releasing a court order.

The Prosecutor General’s Office appealed this decision to the High Court last Thursday. However, the appeal was not accepted to the court registrar as the case cannot proceed in Ali Waheed’s absence. The PGO requested the High Court to review their decision rejecting the appeal.

The state previously appealed the decision to release Ali Waheed’s passport at several higher courts. However, the Supreme Court and High Court decided that they cannot proceed with the case in Ali Waheed’s absence, and his whereabouts were unknown.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is charging 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.

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 the 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 were raised against him. However, if he is found guilty of the charges levied against him, Waheed will face up to 21 years imprisonment.