Dr. Farahanaz denies allegation Ali Waheed residing in UK with Deputy High Commissioner

Maldivian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Farahanaz Faisal. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Aushan Ilyas)

Maldivian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Farahanaz Faisal has dismissed a media report which claims former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed – who has been charged with multiple sexual offenses including attempted rape – is being hosted in London by the Deputy High Commissioner to the UK – calling the report “100% fake news”.

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 initially had a travel ban order against him, but the Criminal Court temporarily released his passport and allowed him to travel overseas for medial treatment on February 9. Ali Waheed promptly left for the UK. While the four-month period granted by the court has now expired, his exact whereabouts in the UK is unclear.

A local newspaper publishes a report last Wednesday claiming Ali Waheed is being hosted by the Maldivian Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Naushad Waheed, at his private residence.

Maldivian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Farhanaz denied the allegation in a tweet on Wednesday night.

She dismissed the claim as “100% fake news” and described it as a “totally despicable and horrendous spear campaign on the Deputy HC and the whole Maldives High Commission team in London.”

The Maldivian government has not made an official comment regarding Ali Waheed’s whereabouts or whether they expect to extradite him to Maldives to face trial.

Ali Waheed is scheduled to attend his hearings remotely, through the Maldivian High Commission.

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.