Hearings in Ali Waheed's case halted after confusion over address

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed speaks to press outside Maldives Police Service headquarters on July 19, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Hearings in the High Court appeal case into the release of former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has been concluded today after confusion over the current address of Ali Waheed.

The Judge’s bench presiding over the case ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office) to clarify the information regarding the current address of the ex-Minister and inform the High Court before 14:00 tomorrow. The judges would then decide if whether the case can be heard or not. 

The Judge's bench today, posed a number of questions to the PG Office in today’s hearing such as whether the case can be heard in the absence of the defendant. The PG Office replied with their belief that under special circumstances, the case can be heard.

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed was accused of a number of sexual crimes and even attempted rape by employees of the Ministry during his tenure as Minister.

The complaints were conveyed to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last year who then ordered Ali Waheed to resign. Ali Waheed refused to do so on the basis of a political conspiracy against him.

The President then fired Ali Waheed and the case is still on trial. 

Ali Waheed departed from the Maldives to the UK after his passport was released by the Criminal Court in early February.

Massive public outrage was observed over the departure of Ali Waheed when charges were levied against him. Ali Waheed’s passport was released after a medical professional testified in court that he required spinal surgery unavailable from the Maldives.

He had departed after assigning his close aide and State Minister of the Youth Ministry Assad Ali (Adubarey). The PG Office has since alleged that Ali Waheed departed before the Criminal Court order releasing his passport. The issue has even led to a parliamentary inquiry and calls for amendments to be brought to the regulations surrounding the departure of defendants accused of such serious crimes for medical care.