Male’, Maldives – Lawyers of Former Tourism Minister and alleged sexual offender, Ali Waheed stated that Ali Waheed is being treated unjustly and that he was framed and charged for political purposes.
The Supreme Court sentenced Ali Waheed to 2 months and 12 days in jail for contempt of court following his failure to attend his trial hearing scheduled at 13:00, Wednesday.
While Maldives Police Service earlier mentioned that they are working with the Interpol to bring Ali Waheed back to execute the Supreme Court jail sentence on him, to date, Ali Waheed has not said anything regarding the matter nor did he clarify whether he will be coming back to the Maldives.
However, the lawyers of Ali Waheed released a statement in defense of Ali Waheed stating that he is being treated unjustly. The statement detailed that Ali Waheed was removed from his position without a proper investigation on Ali Waheed and that he did not even get the chance to be accountable for the accusations on him. The lawyers stated that an investigation was later followed by the Police, in which the association refrained from revealing the details of the charges accused on Ali Waheed.
No questions were asked in the investigations on the charges that were raised by the PGO. Charges were raised on accusations that were not proved for political purposes.Statement from Lawyers of Ali Waheed.
In addition to this, the lawyers also accused the PGO of giving wrong information to courts and media outlets, and has been giving unjust punishments to Ali Waheed.
According to the lawyers, Ali Waheed requested to openly carry out his court trials, nevertheless, noted that the trials were conducted in secrecy. According to the law of Maldives, trials on the type of charges that were raised against Ali Waheed are instructed to be conducted confidentially.
The PGO 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.