Ex-Tourism Minister Ali Waheed denies abuse charges

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed at a press conference on March 8, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has denied charges of sexual abuse made towards him. 

Ali Waheed was charged for allegedly sexually harassing employees of the Ministry in November last year. 

Charges against Ali Waheed include, sexual abuse, attempted rape, attempted sexual abuse, soliciting unlawful sexual activity and indecent exposure. A total of seven charges were brought against Ali Waheed. 

Hearings of the case were commenced in Criminal Court today behind closed doors. 

A Criminal Court official stated to Sun that the charges against Ali Waheed were read out by the state in today’s hearing,to which Ali Waheed responded by denying all charges. 

Today’s hearing was concluded with Ali Waheed being allowed time to present evidence and other material. 

The allegations had led to the downfall of one of the most prominent figures in the cabinet of President Solih. Ali Waheed was ordered to resign by the President, who later dismissed him from the post after Ali Waheed refused to resign. 

Allegations of sexual harassment by Ali Waheed were first reported in mid-2020. He was dismissed by President Solih on July 9. An investigation into allegations saw police submit paperwork relating to the case against Ali Waheed to the Prosecutor General’s Office on October 7.

The police previously stated that they had collected statements from 15 individuals in connection to the case.

Ali Waheed has maintained his innocence in the case and said that he was being framed. He has said that he believes the case against him is being influenced by politicians, and that a fair and independent investigation will prove his innocence as well as the reason why he was being framed.