Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed states that former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed - who has been sentenced to jail for contempt of court while on trial for sexual violence – cannot be brought to Maldives unless deported from the United Kingdom.
The Supreme Court sentenced Ali Waheed to two months and 12 days in prison for contempt of court on August 11, after he failed to appear at the appeal hearing.
Maldives Correctional Service has asked for assistance from Maldives Police Service to extradite him to Maldives in order to enforce the sentence.
“The only avenue available to us to enforce the conviction for failure to appear in court is for UK to deport him. We can get it done then,” he said.
Hameed said that there are certain challenges in extraditing Ali Waheed to Maldives due to the nature of the conviction against him. He said that Maldives and UK do not have an extradition treaty.
He said that the police can, however, work on taking further action against her in connection to the charges of sexual violence against him.
“Now this will very much depend on the support of the British government. Because we don’t have a treaty or any other such agreement,” he said.
Hameed said that the police will impress upon the British government the seriousness of the charges against Ali Waheed, and work through the inter-agency relations between the Maldivian and British police and the Interpol channel to get it done.
Hameed said it involves a lot of legal formalities.
“We are engaged in discussions with the Prosecutor General to explore the measures we can take to present him before the court,” he said.
Ali Waheed was dismissed as Tourism Minister on July 9, 2020, following allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry. He was initially asked to voluntarily resign but was dismissed after he refused.
He is on trial for seven charges of sexual violence; attempted rape, inflicting a sexual, indecent exposure, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.
He initially had a travel ban order against him, but the Criminal Court temporarily released his passport and allowed him to travel overseas for medical treatment on February 9. He promptly left for the UK.
Ali Waheed failed to return to Maldives despite the fact that the four-month period granted by the court for his travel overseas expired in June.