Malé, Maldives – Supreme Court of Maldives has summoned alleged sex offender and former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed via email.
The summons was issued following the Prosecutor General (PG) appeal to the Supreme Court after the Criminal Court decided on online hearings for the suspect.
Ali Waheed has previously shared his current address, Whatsapp contact number and email address with the Criminal Court, which the court then shared with the PG Office.
According to the Maldives Criminal Procedure Code (Act No. 12/2016), defendants may be detained and brought to court upon failure to attend hearings after being summoned.
The Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem states that the PG Office has the option to pursue an Interpol red notice to bring back Ali Waheed to stand trail for the seven sex offense charges against him.
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.
Ali Waheed fled from the country, after his passport was released due to a medical emergency. 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 yet along with valid documents supporting his statement.
Waheed was fired 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 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.