With sexual assault case dropped, Ali Waheed to return home

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed at a press conference on January 30, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed is scheduled to return to Maldives on Monday, ending over three years on the run after he was prosecuted for the sexual assault of multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry.

He is scheduled to arrive in Maldives on Monday afternoon.

The Prosecutor General’s Office announced the decision to file the case against Ali Waheed in June, after victims and witnesses in the case sent a letter to the PGO and the police, requesting the authorities to drop the case.

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 was 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 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, 2021, despite requests by the PGO not to release his passport and grant him temporary travel papers instead.

Ali Waheed promptly left for the UK.

He failed to return to Maldives despite the fact that the four-month period granted by the court for his travel overseas expired in June 2021.

The court dismissed the case in September 2022, instructing the PGO to refile charges once he can be presented to court.

The PGO sent the case back to the police in October 2022, instructing the law enforcement agency to resubmit the case once Ali Waheed returns to Maldives.

An Interpol red notice for his arrest was issued in April 2022. However, efforts to have him extradited to Maldives failed.

Ali Waheed has been living in the UK since 2021, where he coaches the Sporting London FC.