Malé, Maldives – High Court Judge Mohamed Niyaz today stated that the state must not give defendant’s guarantors such leniency that they start making a mockery of the court procedures.
He stated this in the court verdict document regarding the prosecution’s request for a surrender order for former Tourism Minister and fugitive Ali Waheed.
Alleged sexual offender Ali Waheed exited Maldives after assigning State Minister for Youth and Sports Assad Ali as his guarantor prior to his departure.
Ali Waheed who fled from the country, after his passport was released due to a medical emergency, was also supposed to arrive in Maldives in June as his medical treatment duration of 4 months has expired, however, he has yet to return to the Maldives despite a Supreme Court jail sentence for contempt of court.
Instead of questioning or taking action against Waheed’s guarantor, the State Minister for Youth and Sports Assad Ali has been chosen to represent Maldives in the SAFF Championship as part of the Maldives’ squad and is now training abroad in Qatar.
The High Court of Maldives expressed concern at this lack of action against a guarantor whose defendant has fled the country.
The Supreme Court of Maldives has amended the court procedure regarding the travel of suspects and banned exiting the country after appointing a guarantor in June 2021 after Ali Waheed’s failure to return to the country as per court orders.
While it was allowed previously under the guidelines authorized by the Criminal Procedure Code (Act No. 12/2016), Supreme Court has declared amendments to the guidelines effective 15 June 2021.
Previously, the Criminal Procedure Code allowed a suspect may be released from custody and may have access to their passport and travel out of the country after appointing a guarantor.