PG: Red notice can be issued to bring Ali Waheed back

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem during a press conference on July 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said his office has the option of requesting an Interpol red notice to bring former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed back to Maldives to stand trial for multiple sexual offenses – including attempted rape.

Ali Waheed travelled out of Maldives in February, after Criminal Court lifted the travel ban order against him.

The decision to release Ali Waheed’s passport was appealed by the Prosecutor General’s Office with the High Court, which dismissed the case earlier this April after the office failed to establish Ali Waheed’s current address, making the court unable to serve the summons.

The High Court granted the Prosecutor General’s Office the option of resubmitting the case once they establish Ali Waheed’s current address.

The decision to release Ali Waheed’s passport has now been appealed with the Supreme Court.

Shameem said he hopes his office will be given the opportunity to voice its opinion over the matter by the court.

Shameem said that there are additional options available if they fail to present Ali Waheed to court by serving his summons.

“There are many courses of action available. For example, if we are unable to present him by serving his summons, a court order can be issued to present him. A court order isn’t enforceable in Maldives alone.  What I mean is, there are many courses of action we can take such as Interpol red notice and other international options,” he said.

Ali Waheed was dismissed as Tourism Minister on July 9, 2020, after allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry was brought to the attention of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He was initially asked to voluntarily resign, but was dismissed after he refused.

He has been pressed with seven charges; attempted rape, inflicting a sexual, indecent exposure, sexual assault, attempt to cause sexual assault, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.

He pled not guilty to all seven charges during his arraignment at the Criminal Court on January 24. He faces minimum 21 years in prison if convicted of the charges.